Gen. McKenzie Wiki
Gen. McKenzie Biography
Who is Gen. McKenzie ?
General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr. is the commander of the United States Central Command. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, after graduating from The Citadel in 1979, General McKenzie was commissioned into the Marine Corps and trained as an infantry officer.
General McKenzie said the dangerous evacuation effort will continue despite the growing threat from ISIS and that the United States will retaliate when those responsible are found.
He promised that the United States would retaliate against ISIS, but only when they can find them.
“We hope these attacks will continue,” General McKenzie said, stating that the troops would tell all remaining Americans in Afghanistan to stay home or go to the airport if it is safe.
1,000 Americans remain in Afghanistan, but McKenzie says not all of them want to leave. It’s unclear how, but he said the airport evacuation will continue.
He warned that there was a “very real” threat of an additional attack, and that they are particularly concerned about car bombs.
The president has not publicly commented on the deaths and is not scheduled to make any kind of statement or speech on Thursday. The deafening silence has angered Republicans who say the blood of those killed is on their hands.
How old is Gen. McKenzie ?
1957 (age 64 years), Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Who is the current Centcom commander?
Is General Kenneth McKenzie married?
Two suicide attacks at the Kabul airport on Thursday killed 11 Marines and a Navy medic along with dozens of Afghans. The first attacker was wearing a vest and the troops were searching him when he detonated. The second was a car bomb attack.
It is unclear how the suicide bomber in the vest got through the Taliban checkpoints and got close enough to the Marines to kill them.
President Biden has yet to comment on the deaths, the first American lives lost since he began his disastrous evacuation effort on August 14, but on Thursday, Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, the commander on the ground, spoke with the reporters.wikipedia
The United States vows to continue its evacuation mission from Afghanistan despite ISIS suicide bombers killing 12 soldiers on Thursday, and amid additional ‘active’ threats of further attacks, but President Biden has yet to address the attacks, letting it go. in the hands of the commanding general on the ground. in Kabul to report to the world’s media on Thursday.Medical staff bring an injured man to a hospital in an ambulance after two powerful explosions, which killed at least six people, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021.
“My greatest fear is that these attacks today are just the beginning of what we will continue to see as the Administration fails to get the Americans and our Afghan allies out and get them to safety,” wrote Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, On twitter. “We do not need statements from the Administration at this time, we need immediate resignations.”
“At what point does Afghanistan go from” Biden’s Saigon “to” Biden’s Moment in Tehran? “Asked Rep. Ralph Norman, Republican of South Carolina. The hostage crisis in Iran of 1979-1981 was considered a major failure and contributed to the defeat of President Jimmy Carter in his reelection bid.
‘President @ JoeBiden, I had a job. That work continues and the lives and safety of Americans depend on it. He act like one, ” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, wrote on Twitter.
Despite the escalation of violence, the top US diplomat made the startling claim Thursday morning before the blast that it was “relatively safe” on land and that people should still be able to get there.
There is no indication yet when Biden may speak.
He will continue to inform you of updates on the evolution of the situation throughout the day.
“There will be updates to the president’s calendar, which we will share as they become available.”
Earlier Thursday, US troops on the ground closed the airport gates and the State Department warned people not to congregate at the airport. Britain told its citizens to rush to the Pakistani border.
The Taliban claimed Kabul on August 14 and there has been a frenzied fight to get Western citizens and Afghan allies out of the region before August 31, the deadline for the Taliban ceasefire.
An official death toll has not yet been given, but according to those on the ground, including a New York Times reporter who counted 40 bodies. The Wall Street Journal said 60 Afghans had died. Among them were 11 Marines and a Navy medic.
Norway, Poland, the Netherlands and Canada have stopped evacuating citizens.
General McKenzie said the United States would continue to evacuate its citizens despite Thursday’s attack and despite an “imminent” threat of more attacks.
The threat they are most concerned about is another car bomb, he said, but there is also intelligence that suggests ISIS also wants to launch a rocket attack.
General McKenzie said the United States would go after ISIS to retaliate if they can find the right groups. The threat of a suicide vehicle is “very high”.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement: “On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense, I express my deepest condolences to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and injured in Kabul today.
“The terrorists took their own lives at the same time that these troops were trying to save the lives of others. We lament your loss. We will treat your wounds. And we will support their families in what is sure to be devastating pain.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, left, refused to take questions at a briefing on Thursday afternoon and instead let General Kenneth F. McKenzie, the commander on the ground
But we will not be dissuaded from the task at hand. Doing anything less, especially now, would dishonor the purpose and sacrifice these men and women have made to our country and the people of Afghanistan. ”
Republicans, outraged by the terrorist attacks in Kabul that left American personnel dead, accused President Biden of having “ blood on his hands, ” while Senator Lindsey Graham urged the US to regain control of the city. Bagram airbase after reports of two explosions in Hamid Karzai. Kabul International Airport.
“I have advocated for days for the reopening of the Bagram air base, as the Kabul airport is very difficult to defend and has been the only evacuation exit,” the South Carolina Republican wrote on Twitter.
‘We have the ability to reestablish our presence in Bagram to continue evacuating American citizens and our Afghan allies. The biggest mistake in this debacle is abandoning Bagram. ‘
“I urge the Biden Administration to re-establish our presence in Bagram as an alternative to the Kabul airport so that we do not leave behind our fellow citizens and thousands of Afghan allies. It is not a problem of ability, but a problem of will, ”said Graham.
“The reconquest of Bagram would put our armed forces at risk, but I believe that those involved in the operation would gladly accept that risk because it would restore our honor as a nation and save lives.”
Lawmakers were briefed on the situation this week by Biden’s national security team.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Democratic Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Bob Menendez, said: “This is a full-blown humanitarian crisis and US government personnel … must secure the airport.”
“While we wait for more details to come in, one thing is clear: We cannot trust the Taliban with the safety of the Americans.”
The Republican Leader of the House of Representatives, Representative Kevin McCarthy, called on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to take back the House so that lawmakers can be informed about the situation.
“Today’s attacks are horrible. My prayers go out to the wounded and the families of the dead. I also continue to pray for the safety of our troops, the stranded American citizens, our Afghan allies and partners who remain in the area. Our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of the pullout, ‘the California Republican said in a statement.
‘It is time for Congress to act quickly to save lives. President Pelosi must bring Congress back into session by August 31 for the Biden Administration to fully and fully brief us on and pass Representative Gallagher’s legislation that prohibits the withdrawal of our troops until all Americans are out. Afghanistan ‘.
Other lawmakers sent a large number of prayers for US troops on the ground and Afghans on Twitter as they, along with the rest of the world, watch and wait to see a series of attacks unfold at the Kabul airport.
Others demanded a strong response and called for “resignations” from the White House. Some warned that the worst could be yet to come.
Rep. Jody Hice, R-Georgia, again called for Biden’s resignation.
Biden’s administrator views the people left behind in Afghanistan as a political nuisance. Maybe looking at them as real people instead of “push papers” would produce bailouts instead of deaths. It’s time for Biden to QUIT NOW! ‘
Should Biden resign or be removed for his handling of Afghanistan? Yes, ‘Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted. But that would leave us with Kamala Harris, who would be ten times worse. God help us.’
NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked the president
American civilians and Afghan allies have only 72 hours before evacuations are complete and Biden joked about the evacuation crisis at a cybersecurity summit.
Earlier, NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked the president what he would do if there were Americans trapped in Afghanistan after Aug. 31.
The mic went dead before Biden could respond, but he cracked a smile and said, ‘You’ll be the first person I call.’
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday that up to 1,500 Americans, 500 who are verified US citizens, remain trapped in Afghanistan.
Blinken said the United States has been in “direct contact” with approximately 500 confirmed US citizens and “provided specific instructions on how to get to the airport safely.”
“We are communicating with them aggressively multiple times a day,” he said of those 1,000 people, adding that they are looking to “determine if they still want to leave and get the most up-to-date information and instructions for them on how to do so.”
Some may no longer be in the country. Some may have claimed to be American, but it turns out they are not. Some may choose to stay, ‘Blinken said.
“We will continue to try to identify the status and plans of these people in the coming days.”
A short time later, a journalist covering Afghanistan wrote on Twitter that the Taliban blocked all roads leading to the Kabul airport.
Only Afghans “accompanied by foreigners” are reportedly allowed through.
“The Taliban refused to allow a friend, a dual Afghan-Australian citizen, to enter the airport today,” Frud Bezhan wrote.
CIA operations include air and ground missions and use US military helicopters under the agency’s control.
Time is running out for Americans trapped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. President Biden sticks to his August 31 deadline
At least two dozen American students and parents are among those still trapped in Kabul.
After taking a summer trip to visit their grandparents and other extended family members, 24 students and 16 parents from the Cajon Valley Union School District are trying to get to the airport with less than a week before the United States leaves the country, it reported. LA Times.
Cajon Valley Superintendent David Miyashiro said officials working with the school district’s FACE program as interpreters and liaisons were contacted by a family concerned that their student would lose a classroom seat last week when classes began, reports a local CBS affiliate.
The concern was shared by several other families who missed their scheduled flights home for the first day of school on August 17.
The district said they arrived on special US military visas and claims the trip was not sanctioned by the school. District officials outside San Diego said the students are safe, but it is not known for sure when they will be able to return home.
A family of five from the same school district is back in the United States after escaping from Afghanistan, reports 10 News.
The Taliban test a $ 6 million Blackhawk helicopter a
CNN captured images of a US military Black Hawk helicopter flying over Kabul during the chaotic evacuation in Afghanistan last week.
An alarming video has also emerged of the Taliban attempting to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Kandahar amid fears that insurgents will gain control and begin using weapons and equipment left behind by US forces.
The US-made helicopter costs $ 6 million and was used by the Navy SEAL 6 team during the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden.
It has been a constant fixture in US stealth military operations since 1978 on a variety of battlefields from Somalia to Syria to Helmand province.
The Army’s front-line military helicopter is used for air assault, is designed to carry 11 troops and is capable of moving a 105-millimeter howitzer and 30 rounds of ammunition.
McCarthy and a host of Republicans continued to criticize Biden as desperate Americans and Afghans surrounded the Kabul airport trying to escape the Taliban and the growing threat of an attack by the Islamic State branch of ISIS-K.
The Republican Party has accused him of allowing the Taliban to ‘make the decisions’ amid reports that Westerners and SIV applicants are being detained and beaten at checkpoints, despite the Pentagon claiming they are being targeted. telling the insurgents who they ‘expect’ to be let through.
“Joe Biden and his team are letting the Taliban make the decisions,” Sen. Tom Cotton said on a Fox News radio show Wednesday morning.
His colleague, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, wrote on Twitter: “A president who abandons Americans to meet a deadline set by a medieval band of terrorists will be disgraced forever.”
North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis criticized Biden’s “ disastrous decision ” to stick with his end-of-month deadline Wednesday morning, which he said was “ grounded by the previous ill-conceived chronological agreement. of his administration with the Taliban rather than conditions on the ground.
Senator Lindsey Graham, who served with Biden on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the deadline imposed by Biden and the Taliban will cost lives.
“How could we create a deadline that is a death sentence for those who fought alongside us?” he questioned on Fox radio on Wednesday.
General Kenneth F. McKenzie Quicks and Facts
- 11 Marines and one Navy medic were killed on Thursday by the attacks at Kabul airport
- President Biden has canceled his meetings to meet with Pentagon and defense chiefs to discuss the attacks
- At 3pm EST, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, the commander on the ground, spoke to reporters
- He said the evacuation would continue but that there were ‘active’ threats of ‘additional attacks’
- The first bomb was detonated in a suicide vest and the bomber was being searched by Marines
- It’s unclear how he got past Taliban check points before the airport to get close enough
- Gen. McKenzie said the US would retaliate against ISIS when they find the exact people responsible
- Other NATO countries begged Biden him to extend his August 31 deadline to get out but he refused
- Norway, Poland, Canada and Holland have now all stopped evacuating citizens from Afghanistan
- Biden is adamant he can get everyone out by August 31 but has offered no plan for how he will do it
- Angry Republicans on Thursday said he now has the blood of the ten servicemembers