Frank McKenzie, a former American general who served as the head of US Central Command during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, has voiced strong criticism, characterizing the delay in the departure of American troops as a stark illustration of American arrogance.
McKenzie expressed remorse over the US decision to remain until the very end of the conflict. “I think it’s a case of American exceptionalism or American arrogance, depending on your perspective, to believe that you can actually withdraw, beaten from the field of battle, and still maintain a large political platform in the country you’re actually retreating from,” McKenzie commented.
“I go back to the basic decision to wait so very late to begin to bring people out — after we had already given away Bagram Airfield, after we had already drawn down to a very low footprint in the country,” he continued. “I think those were the decisions that led to the scenes at the airport in Kabul.”
Notably, McKenzie maintained that he had no regrets regarding the agreement signed with the Taliban, stating, “I believe that if we had not taken that step, our casualty count would have been substantially higher.”