U.S. Military Ends Military Presence In Afghanistan After 20 Years Of War
On Sunday, Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor told reporters that Kabul “remains secure” and that the Hamid Karzai International Airport “is currently open for military flight operations as well as limited commercial flight operations.”
President Joe Biden had deployed up to 7,000 US troops to Afghanistan, but now all of those troops have left.
According to Taylor, nine American aircraft arrived at the airport in Kabul after the chaotic evacuations on Monday.
Defense One published a photo on Monday showing 640 Afghans crammed into a C-17.
Taylor referenced the photo during his speech, saying the image “speaks to the humanity of our troops in this mission. The skill and professionalism of our U.S. military.”
In the last hours, the military had “one aircraft per hour in and out” of the Kabul airport.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby commented on negotiations with the Taliban. “Our commanders at the airport are in communication with Taliban commanders on the ground outside the airport,” he said. “There have been discussions. There is communication between them and us. And I would just let the results speak for themselves.”
Kirby added: “Right now, as the general made clear, the mission runs through Aug. 31. The commander in chief made it very clear that we were to complete this drawdown by Aug. 31, which now includes…the pulling out of American citizens and drawdown of our embassy personnel. So that’s what we’re focused on. That’s the timeline we’re on. There are interactions down at the local level. And as the general said, we are processing American citizens to get out. So again…without speaking to the sausage-making of communications here, thus far—and it’s early on—the results are speaking for themselves.”
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the Taliban “have informed us that they are prepared to provide the safe passage of civilians to the airport, and we intend to hold them to that commitment.”