Afghanistan Dwell Information: US carries out drone strike on Islamic State; Americans warned to depart Kabul airport gates “instantly” | World information
In a typical, well-defended military facility, security centers focus on what officials call “Defense in Depth,” something that seemed impossible to establish at the airport, said Sam Lerman, an Air Force security veteran whose unit is at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012.
“The main thing is that you need spacing and redundant layers of security, and you need people you can trust at every level,” Lerman said. “The last part is a must.”
At Kabul Airport – a commercial and civil airfield in the center of a metropolis of more than 4 million people – the U.S. military seemed to lack many of these options after abruptly embarking on a chaotic mission caused by the rapid disintegration of the Afghan government and its security forces.
Almost 6,000 US soldiers streamed back to Kabul to secure the airfield and brought American troops to the airport gates with crowds that had originally been shielded by the Taliban. At times, Taliban fighters and US troops were often only a few meters apart.
Brian Castner, a former ordnance disposal officer and veteran of the Iraq war, said the “malicious nature of the problem” for US forces included potential Afghan evacuees arriving with bags on the gates.
“You can’t just say ‘no pockets’. There will be bags, ”said Castner, who was a civil employee in Kabul when the government was overthrown and was subsequently evacuated. “You will have this constant threat that each of these bags might not be a worldly property, but a bomb instead.”