Longest war in US history comes to an end as last US troops exit Afghanistan

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 Longest war in US history comes to an end as last US troops exit Afghanistan
Image source: © Acobhouse | Megapixl.com

A view from the side of a hill looking over a very hazy and populated Kabul, Afghanistan.

Highlights

  • The 20-year-old war – longest in US history – is finally over.
  • The war was triggered by the Taliban’s refusal to hand over Osama Bin Laden – the prime accused in 9/11 terror attacks
  • In last days of the war, the US evacuated about 120,000 people out of Afghanistan

The US has ended its long-drawn-out war in the Central Asian country of Afghanistan after two decades, as it completed final evacuations out of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.

In a historic rescue operation, culminating the 20-year-old war, the US armed forces evacuated 120,000 people out of Afghanistan – after the country was run over by Taliban fighters.

“I want to thank our commanders and the men and women serving under them for their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled – in the early morning hours of 31 August, Kabul time – with no further loss of American lives,” US President Joe Biden said in statement.

The last C-17 military cargo aircraft departed from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday afternoon.

Mr Biden is slated to address the American nation on Tuesday afternoon about his decision not to prolong the US mission in Afghanistan beyond 31 August – a decision which many have called as hasty and ill-planned.

                   

Is U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan the right move?

 

Earlier this year, after the US announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan, Taliban forces started to sweep across the country in a lightning blitz – capturing town after town starting from rural areas.

In less than two months, Taliban had captured the entire country, marked by the takeover of Kabul on 15 August 2021, as country’s former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country – unintimidated.

After the fall of Kabul, US launched historic rescue operations out of Afghanistan – pulling out US citizens, citizens of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies and its Afghan allies.

In the last week of the withdrawal, terrorists from the group ISIS-K launched suicide attack on Kabul airport, killing 13 US service members and dozens of Afghan nationals. In retaliation, US forces launched precision strikes in a bid to thwart other attacks.

Two decades earlier, after Taliban declined to hand over Osama Bin Laden to the US in the aftermath of 9/11 terror strikes on World Trade Centre and Pentagon, US and its allies – the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, New Zealand and Germany – went on a full-fledged war in Afghanistan.

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