The speed with which Taliban forces retook Afghanistan, as U.S. and other foreign forces withdrew after a 20-year war, has led to chaotic scenes at the airport with diplomats, foreign citizens and Afghans trying to flee but they are being impeded by crowds and Taliban checkpoints.
"We're going to do everything we can to continue to try and deconflict and create passageways for them to get to the airfield. I don't have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul," Austin told reporters at the Pentagon.
Austin said the United States was not satisfied with how many people were being evacuated.
"It's obvious we're not close to where we want to be in terms of getting the numbers through," he said.
Speaking to reporters alongside Austin, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there had been no intelligence to indicate that the Afghanistan security forces and government would collapse in 11 days, as they did.