Jacobson discusses crisis at Kabul airport with MSNBC, CBS News, Bloomberg
August 26, 2021
With just days to the August 31 deadline for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, and a terrorist attack that killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of others, concerns are mounting about the ability for all U.S. citizens, green card holders and Afghans who worked with the U.S. government to make it safely out of the country. According to Mark Jacobson, assistant dean for Washington Programs for the Maxwell School, following Thursday’s bombing, “A complicated situation is getting more complicated . . . You have to balance security, which means it’s going to slow things down in terms of how many people we can get through the gate and how many we can get into airplanes.” This, according to Jacobson, is making it increasingly unlikely to meet the August 31 deadline. “What I’m concerned about is the Taliban are slowing things down, which is something the President said they wouldn’t do. They’re taking Afghan passport holders and not letting them come with their spouses and immediate families who are U.S. passport holders.” Jacobson spoke with MSNBC for the story "Biden to ISIS: We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
If President Biden does not extend the deadline in spite of Taliban threats, “American families are being split up. American families are going to get left behind" he said in an interview with MSNBC "New Yorker editor: It’s not possible to evacuate all US allies from Afghanistan by Aug 31st."
Jacobson says the delays are due to a lack of planning and coordination on the ground. "There are people waiting 36-48 hours or more because there are well over 10,000 people on that base right now. But the problem is there are still planes taking off with empty seats," he also told MSNBC in the interview "Afghanistan expert on withdrawal: Plans are worthless, planning is everything."
To address issues on the ground, Jacobson calls for more involvement of NATO allies in the evacuation. "I don’t see a coordinated evacuation effort . . . I really do think the NATO Secretary General needs to call on all of the partner nations to work in concert to get the type of heavy airlift that’s going to be needed to get individuals out of Kabul," he told CBS News in the interview “US accelerates evacuations from Afghanistan as Taliban overruns Kabul.”
Additional interviews appeared in:
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