President Joe Biden’s promise to continue evacuations until all Americans in Afghanistan are safely out appeared broken. However, the last US plane tasked with evacuating Americans left Kabul airport Monday evening. Many Americans who wanted to leave the country were left stranded as they failed to reach the airport.
Biden’s Promise Broken
Marine Corps General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. announced Monday evening that the last US plane left Monday evening. Aboard the final flight were the remaining US troops who secured the airport until the last day.
The last US plane leaving Kabul signified the end of the United States military presence in Afghanistan. However, some Americans who wish to return home remain stranded.
McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, confirmed that some American citizens who wanted to leave Afghanistan remained stranded. “We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” he said.
Biden Said He’d “Get Everyone Out’
During an August 18 interview with ABC News, Biden said that the US military objective in Afghanistan was to get “everyone” out.
This includes both Americans and Afghan allies and their families. “That’s what we’re doing now, that’s the path we’re on. And I think we’ll get there. If there are American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out,” he said.
However, a senior State Department official told Fox News on Monday that Biden’s promise won’t pull through. Even as the last US military plane left, a “small number” of Americans remained inside Afghanistan.
250 Americans Still in Afghanistan
That State Department official said there were “below 250” Americans still stranded in Afghanistan. However, more managed to get out in recent hours. The official added that despite the official deadline being past, the State Department will continue to evacuate Afghan partners “who worked with us.”
Curiously, the last US military evacuation plane left Kabul a day before the deadline agreed with the Taliban. The official agreement with Afghanistan’s new ruling group was August 31, 3:29 pm Eastern.
However, the last flight left Monday evening, way ahead of schedule. The Taliban said they will allow normal travel after the US withdrawal. However, this will only start once they take full control of the airport’s operations.
Taliban Regains Kabul Airport As US Completes Withdrawal
Meanwhile, the US Army shared an image taken with night-vision optics. It showed the last US soldier stepping aboard the final evacuation flight out of Kabul. The soldier was Major General Chris Donahue, the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.
By Tuesday morning, Taliban fighters regained control of Kabul airport. Many soldiers celebrated by firing their weapons in the air, as they celebrated the end of 20 years of war with the United States. The Taliban shared an amateur video of their fighter entering Kabul airport as the last US military plan took off at 11:59 pm Monday.
As Biden’s Promise Evaporates, Taliban Celebrates End of War With US
Per Al Jazeera News, Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf announced the complete removal of US forces in the country. “The last US soldier has left Kabul airport and our country gained complete independence,” Yusuf said.
Ironically, the US left the country with the Islamic group stronger than ever, negating two decades of efforts in establishing US-style democracy in the area. The flight marks the end of a hastily-arranged pullout of US and NATO allied troops without anything to show for the decades-long presence here.
Watch the PBS NewsHour reporting about what’s left behind in Afghanistan after ‘heartbreak’ of U.S. departure:
What do you feel now knowing President Joe Biden’s promise isn’t worth anything? What do you think will happen to the remaining Americans in Afghanistan? Also, do you foresee a happy ending in retrieving stranded Americans and allies even as the deadline expired?
Let us know what you think about the Afghanistan evacuation. Share your comments below.