(RepublicanInformer.com)- On Tuesday, the head of US Central Command, General Frank McKenzie said that any attempts by the Taliban to interfere with rescue operations “will be met with overwhelming force.”
Before arriving in Kabul, McKenzie had been in Doha, Qatar negotiating a safe passage agreement with Taliban leaders. He told reporters that he cautioned the Taliban against interfering in the US evacuation operation. McKenzie said he made it clear to Taliban leaders that “any attack would be met with overwhelming force in the defense of our forces.”
Saying that the protection of American civilians and US allies was his “highest priority,” McKenzie reaffirmed that to ensure a “safe and efficient withdrawal,” the US would “take all necessary action.”
But even five days after McKenzie said this, the Taliban continued to interfere with rescue operations. But so far any sign of this “overwhelming force” or “necessary action” has yet to appear on the horizon.
During his Friday press briefing at the White House, President Biden assured reporters that there have been no reports of any Americans being unable to make it to the airport. Just hours later, at a Pentagon press briefing, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin contradicted President Biden’s earlier statement, admitting that Americans attempting to make it to Kabul were being beaten by the Taliban.
Over the weekend, a spokesman for US Central Command echoed General McKenzie’s statement, assuring the press that the military was taking “all necessary action to secure Americans’ safe movement” to the airport.
There are reports that the Taliban is seizing the passports of US citizens trying to make their way to the airport.
Both the State Department and Pentagon have confirmed that they are working with the Taliban to ensure safe passage for Americans, however, they concede that there are some cases where Americans have been unable to get through.
On Saturday, the website for the US Embassy in Kabul issued an alert to Americans still trapped in the country, telling them that due to potential security threats outside of the Kabul airport, US citizens are advised not to travel to the airport and to avoid the airport gates.
Unless this “overwhelming force” is a sternly-worded letter, it is unclear what General McKenzie was talking about.
Perhaps General McKenzie should keep in mind the old saying “Never let your mouth write a check that your ass can’t cash.”