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After nearly 20 years of brutal combat, every American troop has now left Afghanistan, brining America’s longest war to an end.
The final plane took off from Kabul’s airport roughly 23 hours before the official deadline for the United States’s exit. The seemingly endless ‘war on terror’ that began shortly after the Sept. 11th terror attacks has cost more than $2 trillion. In addition, thousands of US service members have been killed or wounded since the occupation began.
The final thirteen US casualties of the war were the young men and women killed in a brutal attack on the airport last week. A few days later, President Biden authorized a drone strike against the ISIS-K terrorist who planned the suicide bombing.
Shortly before receiving the bodies of the fallen soldiers and meeting their families on Sunday, Biden issued a dire warning about “credible threats” of additional attacks on US troops still at war in Afghanistan.
The toll on Afghans has been even greater. In the time US invaded, more than 60,000 Afghan troops and over 40,000 Afghan civilians have been killed. Nearly 200 of those Afghans died in last week’s attack.
The end of a generation-long war
Leading up to the withdraw, thousands scrambled to flee the country after the government fell to the Taliban. Together, US and allied forces were able to help more than 100,000 people evacuate the country. Officials have noted that some Americans still remain, but the Taliban has assured that regular air travel will continue after the withdraw.
All of this comes as the United States prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Those attacks, which prompted this war, claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 US citizens.
President Biden is the fourth president to lead the nation through the course of the War in Afghanistan. Now, he will also be the last.
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