The lighting speed of the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan caught the U.S. and its allies ill-prepared.

The resulting evacuation was marred by confusion, mistakes, and tragedy. But not all went wrong. U.S. and coalition forces managed to get roughly 115,000 people out of the country, including U.S. citizens, third-country nationals, and vulnerable Afghans and their families.

Key to the evacuations were special operations units, which were able to go outside the wire and extract people in risky conditions.