US embassy staff have been ordered to begin shredding and burning sensitive material, as units from a planned re-deployment of 3,000 American troops started arriving to secure the airport and oversee the evacuations. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said “elements” of a battalion were now in Kabul, the vanguard of three Marine and Army battalions that the US was sending to the city. Kirby said that most of the troops would be in place by Sunday and “will be able to move thousands per day” out of Afghanistan. “Capacity is not going to be a problem,” he said.
The US is also moving an additional 4,500 to 5,000 troops to bases in the Gulf countries of Qatar and Kuwait, including 1,000 to Qatar to speed up visa processing for Afghan translators and others who fear retribution from the Taliban for their past work with Americans, and their family members.