The United States has finally left Afghanistan, left behind a lonely US embassy that used to be filled with officials. The US war in Afghanistan after the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda on “World Trade Center” in New York, which had taken shelter in Afghanistan, the United States fell on the country and its Taliban administration in 2001.
The last American soldiers in the US-led NATO alliance pulled out of Afghanistan near midnight Tuesday morning, US war in Afghanistan ending a 20-year war. President George W. Bush begins “Operation Enduring Hope” in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, less than a month after the September 11 attack, which killed approximately 3,000 people.
Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization, which performed out the 9/11 attacks, were being protected by the ruling Taliban.
The mission starts a military front in the United States’ “war against terror,” as US-led troops remove the Taliban, who have been in power since 1996. By November 2001, there were about 1,300 American troops on the ground, increasing to over 10,000 the following year.
When US troops invade Iraq in March 2003 to remove ruler Saddam Hussein, attention was drawn away from Afghanistan. The Taliban and other revolutionary movements rejoin in their bases in south and east Afghanistan, from where they travel to their camps and commence an uprising.
Highest number of US Troops in Afghanistan
More manpower is required in Afghanistan, according to the US commander in 2008. Bush deploys more troops, raising the total number of US forces on the ground to 48,500. In 2009, Barack Obama, who was elected president after claiming to end the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during his campaigns, increased the US commitment to approximately 68,000 troops. He assigns another 30,000 troops in December.
Killing of Osama Bin Laden
The goal is to limit the Taliban’s developing violence while also developing Afghan institutions. By 2010, around 150,000 foreign forces, including 100,000 Americans, were operating in Afghanistan. On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden was shot in Pakistan by US special troops.
The NATO alliance’s military operation in Afghanistan ended in 2014, but over 12,500 international forces stay in Afghanistan to advise Afghan troops and perform anti-terrorist activities, including 9,800 Americans.
Security in the country degrades as a Taliban conflict expands, and a branch of the Islamic State (IS) group emerges in 2015. In August 2017, President Donald Trump rejects any preparations for a US withdrawal and sends thousands more troops. However, deadly attacks increase, particularly against Afghan troops, and the United States greatly increases air strikes.
Meeting Between Taliban and US
In 2018, officials from the US and the Taliban meeting quietly in Doha to consider decreasing the American military presence in Afghanistan. In response, the Taliban must guarantee that the country is not misused as a safe haven for extremist groups. The United States and the Taliban conclude a historic agreement on February 29, 2020, clearing the way for the removal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan by May 2021.
In response, the militants agree to hold peace negotiations with the Afghan government and provide some security guarantees. These begin in September, but violence increases, and the Taliban is responsible for a series of deliberate murders of notable protesters, lawmakers, journalists, and workers.
Taliban get Power
As demand for military action shrinks, troop levels decrease to 2,500 by the ending of Trump’s administration in January 2021. NATO will begin a joint departure of its 9,600-strong operation at the end of April. President Joe Biden says he would honor the Taliban’s agreement, but the draw-down date will be extended until September 11.
Officials reported on June 2 that all US and NATO forces would be departing Bagram, Afghanistan’s largest airbase.
On July 8, Biden announced that the US withdrawal will be finished on August 31. The Taliban declare to occupy 85 percent of Afghan land the next day, a claim the government denies. When the Taliban overtook Kabul on August 15, tens of thousands of Afghans and tourists raced to the airport in a hopeless effort to catch rescue planes.
Over 123,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul. The last of the tens of thousands of American forces depart just hours before the midnight of August 31.
Also read: The History of Taliban