Sky News: Keith Krach on Kabul Airport Bombing 8 26 2021
Keith Krach, former U.S. Under Secretary of State, discusses the Kabul airport bombing with Sky News’ Vanessa Baffoe. A few key moments in the conversation:
00:33 Krach’s heart goes out to the heroes who were fighting for freedom in Afghanistan. We’ll never be able to repay the sacrifice they made for freedom.
01:05 We leave no one behind… We certainly have the capacity to do that.
01:48 Krach was responsible for repatriating 100,000 U.S. citizens during the COVID epidemic. At that point, the biggest repatriation in history. The effort involved collaboration with the Department of Defense and the State Department, as well as commercial airlines.
02:21 When our people are in power, they have the ability to get the job done. President Biden is resolved to leave absolutely no one behind and we will punish these authoritarian regimes.
03:15 The most important thing: No one ever trusted the Taliban. They had responsibility for the safety of American citizens, of our allies, of our Afghan friends. But they did not live up to that responsibility.
03:43 It’s vital that we do not lose the trust of our allies, our friends and everybody that’s been at this for so long. And it has implications for the big picture with regard to, for example, China’s authoritarian threat to our freedom and democracy.
04:26 It all comes down to working with our allies to have that resolve and to be tough. We’ve got the military might to do it. We’ve got the diplomatic skills to do it. We’ve got the allies to do it. And we’ve got to make sure that in the future, Afghanistan does not harbor terrorists.
05:18 We’ve got some very serious leverage points with the Taliban. They need money and they’re expecting a lot of money from the World Bank, from IMF, and that could be cut off in an instant. They want international recognition. That’s important to them. And as long as these things are going on, there will be no international recognition. They also need help running their airports, particularly Kabul, because they need to be able to have travel with the outside world. So we’ve got some leverage points, some certainly some military ones, but also some economic and diplomatic ones.
06:13 A big question is, China, because they’re after their minerals. Afghanistan is that missing piece of that jigsaw puzzle for China’s one belt, one road initiative. That’s a major factor.