Commanding General U.S. Central Command Kenneth F. McKenzie (center) tours an evacuation control center at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan on August 17, 2021.
(US Central Command Public Affairs HO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

By J.K. Schmid
Special to the AFRO

President Biden put America first in his remarks on the end of the US war in Afghanistan, Tuesday.

Similar to his predecessor, President Biden emphasized the size, scale and significance of the war in Afghanistan that spanned two decades in a recent address to the nation. Two weeks ago, the Taliban seized power, causing chaos throughout the country as Afghans, and some Americans, frantically raced to the airport in an effort to flee the country. Some were even seen clinging on to the wings of the aircrafts, fearing for the future. 

“We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history, with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety,” PBiden said. “That number is more than double what most experts thought were possible. No nation has ever done anything like it in all of history. Only the United States had the capacity and the will and the ability to do it, and we did it today.” The last emergency airlift and withdrawal of U.S. troops was completed on Aug. 31. 

Black men and women remain a steady proportion of the U.S. military, although they’ve lost ground in warrant officer and officer positions over the last 10 years. According to a 2020 Statista survey, 29% of women who serve are Black, and Black make up 17% of the armed forces. Approximately 131,000 Black U.S. servicemen and women served in Afghanistan in the last 20 years. 

The White House estimates 100 to 200 U.S. citizens remain in Afghanistan, with “some intention” to leave. The president reported 90% of Americans wishing to leave have left, the White House has since updated this figure to 98%.

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