(USA Features) The Pentagon on Monday announced an official end to the nearly 20-year conflict in Afghanistan as the last C-17 Globemaster transport lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport around 11:59 a.m. local time.
But, in a press conference, a top Pentagon commander admitted that at least hundreds of American citizens were left behind and were unable to be evacuated.
MOOSE94 a C17, and the last US military aircraft out of Afghanistan, departed 11:59 local time.
— Naveed Jamali (@NaveedAJamali) August 30, 2021
“Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie announced Monday that the last American planes had left Afghanistan, ending 20 years of American military occupation, and leaving the country completely in the hands of the Taliban,” The Federalist reported, citing Pentagon sources.
“According to the commander, there are still hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan,” the outlet added.
The fact that there were Americans left behind, though tens of thousands of Afghani civilians were evacuated, was confirmed by other reporters.
CENTCOM Commander says there are "hundreds" of American citizens still in Afghanistan after the last C-17 departed Kabul.
— Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) August 30, 2021
“CENTCOM Commander says there are ‘hundreds’ of American citizens still in Afghanistan after the last C-17 departed Kabul,” Spencer Brown, the managing editor of TownHall.com, tweeted, in reference to U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.
“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” he said.
“After a hasty, disorganized evacuation effort — and an ISIS-fueled attack at the Kabul airport that claimed 13 American service members’ lives — the Biden administration announced the end of its troop withdrawal in the country,” The Federalist continued.
“Although 122,000 people, including Americans and Afghans, have been evacuated from Afghanistan since July, the Biden administration left hundreds of Americans in the Taliban-controlled war zone,” the outlet continued.
U.S. lawmakers and other elected officials demanded to know why President Joe Biden would allow Americans to be abandoned in the war-torn country, where the brutal militant Taliban group is back in charge and already murdering dissidents and other countrymen who worked with the U.S. and NATO during the war.
One of them is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who is seen as a party favorite for the 2024 presidential nomination if former President Donald Trump does not run.
INBOX: Gov. DeSantis Demands Transparency from Biden Admin on Afghanistan: pic.twitter.com/qY2Y5vtpVw
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) August 30, 2021
DeSantis sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding to know how many Floridians are among those stranded in Afghanistan as well as what the administration is “doing to ensure the safe evacuation of all American citizens and all eligible Afghan partners.”
Just a few weeks ago, Biden pledged that he would ensure all Americans would be evacuated from the country, adding that the U.S. presence would remain in Afghanistan until all of them were.
“That’s what we’re doing now, that’s the path we’re on. And I think we’ll get there,” he said on Aug. 18.
“If there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out.”
And a week ago, White House press secretary Jen Psaki scolded a Fox News reporter for characterizing Americans still in the country as being “stranded.”
“It’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not. We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home,” she said.