Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.
American Marine Corps general
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Briefing on Withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan (2021)Edit
- Opening remarks · "Defense Department Briefing on Withdrawal From Afghanistan", C-SPAN (30 August 2021)
- 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 August 30th, this afternoon, at 3:29 p.m. East coast time, and the last manned aircraft is now clearing the space above Afghanistan.
- While the military evacuation is complete, the diplomatic mission to ensure additional U.S. citizens and eligible Afghans who want to leave continues.
- Tonight's withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation, but also the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after September 11th 2001. It's a mission that brought Osama Bin Laden to a just end, along with many of his Al Qaeda co-conspirators, and it was not — it was not a cheap mission: the cost was 2,461 U.S. service members and civilians killed and more than 20,000 who were injured. Sadly that includes 13 US ervice members who were killed last week by an ISIS-K suicide bomber. We honor their sacrifice today, as we remember their heroic accomplishments. No words from me could possibly capture the full measure of sacrifices and accomplishments of those who served, nor the emotions they're feeling at this moment. But I will say that I'm proud that both my son and I have been a part of it.