After 20 years in Afghanistan, the United States announced that they had completed their withdrawal from the country. General Frank McKenzie announced in a press conference at the Pentagon.
“I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens, third-country nationals and vulnerable Afghans. The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 30, this afternoon at 3:29 p.m., east coast time, and the last manned aircraft is now clearing the air space above Afghanistan.”Gen. Frank McKenzie
However, many U.S. citizens are still in Afghanistan because the Taliban would not let them pass checkpoints. On top of the Americans who want out of the country, tens of thousands of Afghans who worked with the United States are trying to get out of the country.
McKenzie said, “Look, there’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure.” He went on to say that they got out everyone who they “wanted to get out.”
He also said that even with another ten days, it would be unlikely that they would have gotten everyone else. The State Department is working “very hard” to get the remaining people out.
State Department Negotiations
McKenzie said, “I believe that we’re going to be able to get those people out.” He said they were also working on getting Afghan partners to safety, saying the Department of State is taking point from here on out.
The equipment left behind was said to be rendered useless, including all aircraft and Humvees.
He also said that the U.S. military was able to get all the Afghan soldiers guarding the airport out as well. The 2,0000 ISIS fighters are the biggest threat currently, with McKenzie deeming them worse than the Taliban.
Control of Afghanistan
The Taliban currently controls more territory in Afghanistan than before September 11, 2001. The US attempted to turn the mess in Afghanistan into a functioning government, an attempt that did not stick.
While three different presidents had a hand in the Longest War, Trump made the initial agreement with the Taliban to pull troops out of the country. An agreement that Biden affirmed and finalized in August.
In all, 122,000 people were evacuated from the country. But, unfortunately, many are still stranded in the country, waiting for a way out.