Australia’s evacuation operation from Afghanistan has commenced, with Wednesday’s flight enabling 26 people to be evacuated, and the prime minister has promised it will be the first of many.
However, this depends on American security, who says no hostile interactions with the Taliban have been. The Taliban is reportedly only letting foreign nationals leave, complicating the task of evacuating those who covertly helped Australia’s defense force.
The prime minister said it was not a simple process. The US has said it will aim for one aircraft per hour, in and out of Hamid Karzai International Airport, and predicts its best effort could be 5,000-9,000 passengers departing per day.
Once the air evacuation finishes, the challenge will be working out how to engage peacefully with the Taliban. The foreign minister clarifies she does not recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.