All American troops are now out of Afghanistan and this has ended the 20 year old war that began after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. The last U.S. military plane left Kabul at 3:29 PM on Monday, September 6th. The final deadline was meant to be Tues, August 31st for removing the final airlifts and remaining military. President Biden will address the country on Tuesday about his choice to not continue the U.S. presence after August 31st. President Biden also applauded the troops’ courage, professionalism, and resolve involved. General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, commented that the troops leaving the country ends both the military section of the evacuation and also the 20-year conflict. This has been the end of America’s longest war and will most likely go down in military history as a war with large scale failures, unfulfilled promises, and a rushed exit of the American troops.
The rushed exit caused the deaths of 180 young Afghans and 13 U.S. service members. In the 20 years of the war, 2,400 American service members and thousands of Afghan citizens died as well as 20,000 Americans that were injured over the course of the war. The last hours of the evacuation were dramatic. American troops had to get last evacuees onto planes while also doing the same for themselves and their equipment while keeping up with threats from the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan group called ISIS-K. The group staged two attacks on the last of the troops. On August 26th, a suicide bombing unfortunately killed 13 U.S. service members and 169 Afghans. In order to leave, the United States had to rely on security and cooperation with the Taliban. This was seen as a necessary choice since the Taliban now has control over the country. Since August 15th, the United States has airlifted over 116,000 people out of Afghanistan along with 73,500 third-country nationals.
The United States intends to continue to evacuate the remaining American citizens in the country who want to leave as well as Afghans who couldn’t leave during the final evacuation. The State Department will continue working to safely rescue Americans, Afghans, and foreign nationals from the country. The last Americans to leave were Major General Chris Donaghue and the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division Ross Wilson. Wilson is also an Ambassador at the U.S. embassy. His decision in April to take troops out of Afghanistan showed how the conflict in the country has worn the government down. He is now facing doubts about credibility since the U.S.’s final hours there were so unstable. Biden’s decision to withdraw was supported by the recommendation by the Joint Chief of Staff and commanders in Afghanistan that ending the occupation there was the best way to protect American life.
The Taliban celebrated the American withdrawal. Their spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, even tweeted a congratulations to all Afghans. One Taliban member was at Kabul’s International Airport when the last American plane left and was overcome with so much happiness he was almost speechless. The Taliban have control of most of the country and reports of abuse and killings on their part have already begun. Now, the Taliban must face opposition from ISIS-K, who also want to control the country and fired rockets at Kabul’s International Airport on Monday. Biden’s statement on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The president was concerned about the safety of the service members there and promised that those who wanted to leave could do so with the military. He also said that safe passage for all wanting to leave (Afghans, foreign nationals, and American citizens) was guaranteed. He is urging the country to pray for Afghanistan.
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