Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

People disembark from an Airbus A400M military transport aircraft at the French military air base near Abu Dhabi on Aug. 23 after being evacuated from Kabul. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden is attempting to navigate between calls from allies to extend the Kabul airlift operation beyond Aug. 31 and warnings from the Taliban that doing so would cross a red line.

Driving the news: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to push Tuesday for an extension beyond the end of August at a virtual G7 meeting, which he's chairing.

  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday he's "concerned about the deadline set by the United States" as "additional time is needed to complete ongoing operations."
  • But national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden still believes all Americans can be evacuated before Aug. 31. The goal remains to conclude the evacuations by then, though Biden will consult with allies, Sullivan added.
  • It will likely be impossible to evacuate all Afghans who worked with NATO troops by Aug. 31, and dozens of other countries are still working to track down and extricate their citizens.

Of note: House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters later Monday after a briefing by intelligence officials he believed the deadline was possible, but added: "It's very unlikely given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated."

The big picture: As they conduct operations amid scenes of chaos that the Biden administration arguably precipitated, and failed to anticipate, NATO allies are grappling with their own reliance on American power.

What they're saying: "You look at the scenes at the Kabul airport, and what I see is the United States securing an airfield at the risk of several thousand U.S. troops to facilitate not just the evacuation of Americans but … third-country nationals from friends and foes alike," Sullivan said Monday.

  • Some critics of the chaotic withdrawal within NATO see instead a bungled retreat by a humbled superpower. But they likely agree with Sullivan’s next point: "There is no other country in the world that could pull this off, bar none."
  • One such critic, U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, has acknowledged that hopes of keeping the evacuation window open for a few additional days rest on the participation of American troops.
  • "When they withdraw, that will take away the framework," Wallace said, "and we will have to go as well."
A British evacuation flight. Photo: Ben Shread/MoD Crown Copyright via Getty

Coordination with the Taliban is vital to the U.S. airlift operation. The militants have pledged to give Americans safe passage to the airport and to also let eligible Afghans through, though some are still reportedly being turned back.

  • Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said Monday that continuous efforts at "deconfliction" with the Taliban had helped the U.S. pick up the pace of its evacuations.
  • Kirby acknowledged that it would take time to evacuate the 5,800 U.S. troops at the airport, meaning civilian evacuations could be suspended before a deadline that's one week away.

The other side: Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said that it will "provoke reaction" and "consequences" if Biden reneges on his deadline.

  • The Taliban has not said what those consequences would be, but the militants control access to the airport perimeter.
  • It's unclear whether they'd risk conflict with the U.S. while on the precipice of total victory, or whether Biden would potentially jeopardize the security of the withdrawal operation by extending it beyond the deadline.

What to watch: The Taliban said it intends to keep the airport open beyond Aug. 31 and allow Afghans who want to leave the country to do so.

  • But allies including Germany have expressed concerns about the feasibility of continuing evacuations after control of the airport passes from the U.S. to the Taliban.
State of the airlift

U.S. officials seemed to speak with newfound confidence about evacuation efforts after announcing Monday morning that the U.S. had evacuated 10,400 people in the previous 24 hours, and 37,000 since the airlift began on Aug. 14.

Breaking it down: The vast majority of those are Afghan nationals. The White House and Pentagon said "several thousand" Americans had been evacuated without offering more precise numbers.

The evacuees are being housed temporarily on U.S. bases in Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, Italy, Germany and Spain — as well as New Jersey, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The evacuation operation has in some cases been extended beyond the airport. Sullivan said: "We have developed a method to safely and efficiently transfer groups of Americans onto the airfield."

  • Qatar's ambassador has transported small groups of Americans to the Kabul airport, per the Washington Post.
  • Kirby said the military was "going out as needed" to pick up Americans, but provided no details beyond the fact that one operation involved a helicopter while others did not.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Schiff.

Go deeper

As Afghanistan envoy departs, tens of thousands remain in limbo

Afghans listen to a lesson in an Afghan refugee camp on Nov. 4 in Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

As President Biden's point person for Afghan refugee resettlement steps aside, advocacy groups are pressing the Biden administration to accelerate its efforts to help the tens of thousands of people still stuck in limbo.

Why it matters: Former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) is leaving the envoy role after being confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The transition comes amid criticism that there hasn't been enough high-level, sustained engagement to ease the backlog of applications nearly four months after the U.S. military and diplomatic withdrawal from Kabul.

Philadelphia airport expects busy holiday travel as Omicron spreads

Travelers walk through Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Photo by Hannah Beier/Getty Images

The Philadelphia International Airport is warning travelers taking to the skies over the holidays to arrive at least three hours ahead of scheduled boarding times.

By the numbers: PHL officials anticipate an estimated 925,700 passengers will pass through the airport between Dec. 22 and Jan. 4, 2022.

  • The busiest day will be Dec. 26, with more than 75,000 travelers. Dec. 27 and 29 will trail behind with nearly 74,000.
Dec 22, 2021 - World

Inside Jake Sullivan's meetings in Israel on Iran

Sullivan (left) meets Bennett. Photo: Israeli Government Press Office via Getty

Four senior Israeli officials who attended meetings in Jerusalem with national security adviser Jake Sullivan tell Axios they came away reassured that the U.S. is ready to take a harder line on Iran if necessary and to take Israel’s views into account.

The big picture: Sullivan sketched out three possible near-term scenarios on Iran’s nuclear program in the meetings, two officials say:

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!