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Breitbart
Breitbart
9 Sep 2023
Ian Hanchett


NextImg:Fmr. CENTCOM Head: Taliban Made It Hard to Evacuate People We Wanted, 'Do Not Regret' Using Them for Security

During a portion of an interview with the Fox News Channel released on Friday’s edition of the “Fox News Rundown: Evening Edition” podcast, former CENTCOM Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie (Ret.) defended cutting a deal with the Taliban to provide security outside the Kabul airport even though he acknowledged that the deal meant “people that we wanted to get through had trouble getting through,” because he believes that “other attacks were prevented by the fact that we had the Taliban operating outside the wire.”

McKenzie said [relevant remarks begin around 6:30] that he doesn’t think the Taliban allowed the suicide bomber through on purpose “based on the investigation that we did after it, I don’t believe so. And I further believe that other attacks were prevented by the fact that we had the Taliban operating outside the wire. And there was a downside to the Taliban being out there too, in that people that we wanted to get through had trouble getting through, and that’s just the difficult equation you’ve got to solve when you’re trying to balance force protection against a desire to get people out of Afghanistan.”

He added, “I do not regret cutting that deal. And I feel, had we not done so, our casualties would have been significantly higher.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett