Pentagon Spox Kirby: Won’t Rule Out Airlifts to Kabul Airport If It’s ‘Best Way’ – Commanders Have Authority They Need

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said commanders “have the authorities they need to pursue opportunities to bring people in,” including by helicopter and that we won’t rule out future helicopter missions to bring people to the airport, “if it was the best way.”

Kirby stated, “Well, the commanders on the ground certainly have the authorities they need to pursue opportunities to bring people in, and one of the means at their disposal is, of course, rotary aircraft helicopters. And we have done that on a couple of occasions. I certainly wouldn’t rule out that we would do it again if it was the best way. And that’s really what it comes down to, Rachel, is what’s the best, most effective, and what’s the safest way to get Americans and other SIV applicants into the airport. And so, again, sometimes helicopters are the answer, sometimes not. And they’re pursuing all kinds of different opportunities to make this happen. So, I certainly wouldn’t rule it out. But it is not the only way in which we are encouraging and trying to facilitate the safe passage of people into the airport.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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