The evacuation of Afghanistan was likened to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. What were the logistics of that operation?
— Although most US troops had left Vietnam, 5,000 civilians remained. Some left during the month, but ambassador Graham Martin gave the order to evacuate everyone only on 29 April.
— The only available airbase had been shelled and there were no sea or land routes, so the only way out was by helicopter. In 24 hours 7,000 people were evacuated, including 5,500 Vietnamese citizens. Helicopters took off from the US embassy compound every ten minutes.
— It was a 50-minute ride to US warships waiting off the coast.
The government was criticised for devoting time to evacuating 173 dogs and cats from a Kabul animal sanctuary while many humans were left behind.