Happy Wednesday! For the first time in nearly a week, today’s newsletter is not going to be entirely Afghanistan-focused—though it certainly could be.
But never fear: Steve, David, and Vital Interests author Tom Joscelyn will be discussing the United States’ withdrawal and the repercussions in a Dispatch Live TONIGHT, August 18, at 8 p.m. ET. Dispatch members can find more details here.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters yesterday that approximately 4,000 U.S. troops would be on the ground in Afghanistan by end of day Tuesday, and that, after a chaotic day Monday, Hamid Karzai International Airport is secure. He said the evacuation effort currently consists of one plane in and out every hour, but that pace could soon pick up to 5,000 to 9,000 evacuees per day barring a “number of unexpected challenges that can occur.” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan added in a press briefing Tuesday the Taliban had informed the administration they are “prepared to provide the safe passage of civilians to the airport.”
The U.S. Air Force said Tuesday it is investigating the civilian deaths at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday, including the handful of Afghans who fell from a U.S. military transport plane after it had taken off. The Air Force also confirmed Tuesday that human remains were found in the landing gear of a C-17 plane that took off from Kabul a day earlier.