President Biden thanked the last US forces serving in Afghanistan for carrying out the “dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as planned” without further loss of American lives, in a statement released Monday evening, ending the states’ longest war -United.
“Over the past 17 days, our troops have flown the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies and US Afghan allies. They did so with unparalleled courage, professionalism and determination, ”the president wrote in a statement released Monday evening.
“Now our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan is over. “
Biden said he would address the nation on Tuesday on his decision not to extend the US presence in Afghanistan past Aug.31, but said in his statement that “it was the unanimous recommendation of the joint chiefs and all of us. our commanders on the ground to end our airlift mission as planned.
“Their point of view was that ending our military mission was the best way to protect the lives of our troops and ensure the prospects of civilians leaving for those who wish to leave Afghanistan in the weeks and months to come.” , he wrote.
The president has also made it clear that he intends to hold the Taliban accountable for their commitment to allow those seeking to leave the country to do so safely.
“The Taliban have made safe passage commitments and the world will keep them. It will include continued diplomacy in Afghanistan and coordination with partners in the region to reopen the airport allowing continuous departure for those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, ”the president wrote.
Earlier Monday, CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie admitted that the US military “hadn’t got everyone out that we wanted out.”
Biden ended his statement “with a moment of gratitude for the sacrifice of the 13 servicemen in Afghanistan who gave their lives last week to save tens of thousands,” naming each of the US servicemen killed.