Withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan (2020–2021)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2020–2021 withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan
Part of the War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
C-17s support Afghanistan drawdown 2021.jpg
US airmen board a C-17 at Al Udeid Air Base during the withdrawal, 27 April 2021
Date29 February 2020 – 30 August 2021
(1 year, 6 months and 1 day)
Location
Result

Withdrawal completed on August 30, 2021

Belligerents

 NATO

 Australia
 Afghanistan
(until 15 August 2021)
Resolute Support Mission (36 countries)[1]
Evacuation support:

 Taliban
Commanders and leaders
United States Joe Biden
United States Donald Trump
United States Lloyd Austin
United States Mark Esper
United States Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.
United States Austin S. Miller
Casualties and losses
Summer 2021:
13 killed
(11 Marines, 1 Navy corpsman, 1 Soldier)
Unknown
Afghan civilian casualties (Summer 2021):[6]
100+ killed
100+ wounded

The United States Armed Forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan on 30 August 2021, marking the end of the 2001–2021 war. In February 2020, the Trump administration and the Taliban, without the participation of the then Afghan government, signed the US–Taliban deal in Doha, Qatar,[7] which stipulated fighting restrictions for both the US and the Taliban, and provided for the withdrawal of all NATO forces from Afghanistan in return for the Taliban's counter-terrorism commitments. The Trump administration's US–Taliban deal, and then the Biden administration’s decision in April 2021 to pull out all US troops by September 2021 without leaving a residual force, were the two critical events that caused the collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).[8] Following the deal, the US dramatically reduced the number of air attacks and deprived the ANSF of a critical edge in fighting the Taliban insurgency, leading to the Taliban takeover of Kabul on 15 August 2021.[9]

As part of the US–Taliban deal, the Trump administration agreed to an initial reduction of US forces from 13,000 to 8,600 troops by July 2020, followed by a complete withdrawal by 1 May 2021, if the Taliban kept its commitments.[10] At the start of the Biden administration, there were 2,500 US soldiers in Afghanistan and, in April 2021, Biden said the US would not begin withdrawing these soldiers before 1 May, but would complete the withdrawal by 11 September.[11][12] The Taliban began a final offensive on 1 May and, on 8 July, Biden specified a new completion date of 31 August.[13][14] There were about 650 US troops in Afghanistan in early August 2021, tasked with protecting Hamid Karzai International Airport and the US embassy in Kabul.[15][16] NATO's Resolute Support Mission concluded on 12 July 2021[17] while US intelligence assessments estimated as late as July that Kabul would fall within months or weeks following withdrawal of all American forces from Afghanistan, though the security situation deteriorated rapidly.[18][19]

The US also launched Operation Allies Refuge to airlift the United States translators and selected Afghan citizens considered at risk of reprisals and US Forces Afghanistan Forward was established on 7 July 2021 as a successor command overseeing the evacuation of all US diplomatic, security, advisory, and counter-terrorism personnel remaining in the country after the withdrawal of US troops. On 12 August 2021, following continued Taliban victories across Afghanistan, the Biden administration announced that 3,000 US troops would be deployed to Kabul Airport to evacuate embassy personnel, US nationals and Special Immigrant Visa applicants.[20][21] With the rapid advance of the Taliban in the provinces, on 14 August the US increased its troop commitment to 5,000.[22] On 15 August, with the fall of Kabul, another 1,000 troops were deployed,[23] and on 16 August, another 1,000 troops were deployed, bringing the total number of troops to 7,000. The last US military planes left Kabul airport at 11:59 p.m. Kabul time on 30 August 2021.[24]

Following the U.S. withdrawal, around one thousand U.S. citizens and Afghans holding U.S. or other visas were held up by the Taliban with the U.S. government not authorizing their departure.[25][26] On 28 and 29 September 2021, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and United States Central Command (CENTCOM) commander Gen. Frank McKenzie were among the numerous Defense Department officials who denied during Congressional testimonies President Biden's previous claim that his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan was because of advice from senior U.S. military leaders and stated that they had in fact advised him to keep some troops in Afghanistan.[27][28]

Prior developments[edit]

Obama administration[edit]

In 2011, US President Barack Obama announced that the US would withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, concluding Operation Enduring Freedom.[17][29][30] Although significant numbers of US troops were withdrawn by 2014 and NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had concluded, 9,800 US soldiers remained deployed inside of Afghanistan during Operation Freedom's Sentinel, a part of NATO's subsequent Resolute Support Mission (RSM).[31] General John F. Campbell requested an additional 1,000 US troops in light of the new military operation.[31]

Trump administration[edit]

US President Donald Trump and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the United Nations General Assembly, 2 October 2017

Under President Donald Trump, the US strategy in Afghanistan was described in April 2017 as "an increase in special operations forces to train, advise and assist Afghan forces; a more robust plan to go after elements in Pakistan that aid the Taliban; the deployment of more air power and artillery; and a political commitment to the survival of the current government in Kabul".[32]

In July 2017, when the official number of US troops operating in Afghanistan was 8,400,[33] President Trump gave the US military decision-making authority to increase troop numbers for military operations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan without first seeking formal approval from the White House.[34][35] US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said: "Our overall mission in Afghanistan remains the same."[36]

On 21 August 2017, President Trump unveiled his administration's strategy for Afghanistan, saying "victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over the country, and stopping mass terror attacks against Americans before they emerge".[37][38] On 24 August, the commander for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John W. Nicholson Jr., confirmed that troop levels, strategy, and conditions for success were dependent on the momentum of the war effort and on-the-ground conditions, not "arbitrary timelines".[39] Trump did not specify the number of troops to be committed under his new open-ended strategy, but congressional officials were told an additional 4,000 troops were to be deployed.[37] The Washington Post reported on 30 August that the additional US forces for Afghanistan would likely include paratroopers as well as small Marine artillery detachments, composed of about 100 or so troops per unit, which were to be dispersed across the country to fill in gaps in air support.[40] According to the report, air support in the form of more F-16 fighters, A-10 ground attack aircraft and additional B-52 bomber support, or a combination of all three, were likely to be used.[40] The newspaper also stated: "The additional US forces will allow Americans to advise Afghan troops in more locations and closer to the fighting, US officials in Kabul said [...]. With more units farther away from the country's biggest bases, additional air support and artillery will be needed to cover those forces."[40] The New York Times added that "the American military will be able to advise select Afghan brigades in the field instead of trying to mentor them from more distant headquarters. They can step up the effort to train special operations forces and, thus, substantially increase the number of Afghan commandos. This will allow American war commanders and service members to call in air and artillery strikes on behalf of more Afghan units."[41]

On 30 August 2017, the Department of Defense disclosed that there were more troops in Afghanistan than previously acknowledged. The Pentagon stated the actual "total force" number was closer to 11,000 rather than the previously stated 8,400, with the larger number including covert as well as temporary units.[41][42] The lower troop-level estimate was a result of misleading accounting measures and red tape.[40]

General Austin S. Miller became commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan in September 2018 and oversaw the withdrawal until July 2021.

In September 2017, the Trump administration began deploying more than 3,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total number of US forces in Afghanistan to more than 14,000.[43][44][45] When General Austin "Scott" Miller took command of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan in September 2018, there were 15,000 US troops deployed. In October 2019, following an abrupt end to peace talks with the Taliban a month prior, General Miller announced that US forces had been reduced to 13,000 within a year as a result of a unilateral decision by the US command in Kabul. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper commented on the troop decrease, saying "General Miller is doing exactly what I asked all our commanders to do when I entered office ... to look where they can free up time, money and manpower," as part of the National Defense Strategy to gradually shift global US military strategy from prioritizing counter-terrorism to also countering Russian and Chinese power projection.[46] In December 2019, the Afghanistan Papers revealed that high-ranking military and government officials were generally of the opinion that the war in Afghanistan was unwinnable, but kept this hidden from the public.[47][48] By the end of 2019, nearly 2,400 Americans had died in the war, with more than 20,000 wounded.[46]

US–Taliban deal[edit]

On 29 February 2020, the US, represented by diplomatic envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban signed the Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan, commonly known as the US–Taliban deal,[49][50] that provided for the withdrawal from Afghanistan of "all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel" within 14 months (i.e., by 1 May 2021). At the time, there were about 13,000 US troops in the country. The withdrawal was conditional on the Taliban upholding the terms of the agreement that included "not to allow al-Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in the areas they control".[51] The US was to reduce its forces in Afghanistan by about 5,000 troops to 8,600 within 135 days.[52][53][54][55][49][56] NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pledged to initially reduce NATO's numbers from roughly 16,000 troops to about 12,000.[57]

In the meantime, intra-Afghan peace talks, comprising the Taliban and the Afghan government, were to work out a more concrete power-sharing settlement. That time frame would give the Afghan government the cover of US military protection while negotiating. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the remaining US troops would serve as leverage to ensure the Taliban lived up to its promises.

On 1 March 2020, the intra-Afghan talks hit a major snag when President Ashraf Ghani stated during a press conference that the Afghan government, which was not a party to the deal, would reject the US–Taliban deal's call for conducting a prisoner exchange with the Taliban by the proposed start of intra-Afghan negotiations on 10 March 2020, even stating that "[t]he government of Afghanistan has made no commitment to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners", that "an agreement that is signed behind closed doors will have basic problems in its implementation tomorrow", and that "[t]he release of prisoners is not the United States authority, but it is the authority of the government of Afghanistan".[58][59][60][61] Ghani also stated that any prisoner exchange "cannot be a prerequisite for talks" but must be a part of the negotiations.[51]

Withdrawal[edit]

General Austin Miller, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meet with Taliban representatives Abdul Ghani Baradar, Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai and Suhail Shaheen in Doha, Qatar, on 12 September 2020

Some US troops withdrew from Afghanistan on 9 March 2020, as stipulated in the US–Taliban deal.[62][63] On 10 March 2020, US Central Command (CENTCOM) rejected reports that the US military had developed a plan to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan. General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., chief of CENTCOM, stated that the plan was to reduce the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 over a 14-month period.[64] The US Army later confirmed that more troops would be sent to Afghanistan in the summer of 2020.[65] According to CENTCOM, the US had reduced its Afghan troop numbers to 8,600 by 18 June 2020, in accordance with the US–Taliban deal.[66] On 1 July 2020, following media reports of Taliban participation in an alleged Russian bounty program to target US troops, the US House Armed Services Committee voted for a National Defense Authorization Act amendment to set additional conditions to be met before President Trump could continue the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, including requiring an assessment on whether any country has offered incentives for the Taliban to attack US and coalition troops, along with prohibiting funding to reduce troop numbers to below 8,000, and again at 4,000, unless the administration certified that doing so would not compromise American interests in Afghanistan.[67][68] The US Senate rejected an attempt by Senator Rand Paul's amendment to the NDAA, which would have required the withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan within a year and bring an end to the 19-year war.[69]

In August 2020, US intelligence officials reportedly assessed that the Iranian government had also offered bounties for American soldiers in Afghanistan.[70] Iran was accused of having made payments to the Haqqani network that were linked to at least six attacks in 2019, including the sophisticated attack on Bagram Air Base on 11 December 2019.[70] According to CNN, the Trump administration "never mentioned Iran's connection to the bombing, an omission current and former officials said was connected to the broader prioritization" of the US–Taliban deal and withdrawal from Afghanistan.[70] The alleged Iran-Taliban ties were cited as part of the justification for the assassination of Qasem Soleimani.[71][72] On 8 August, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that the United States would reduce troop levels to below 5,000 by the end of November 2020.[73]

On 17 November 2020, acting US Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller announced further withdrawals of troops by 15 January 2021, leaving 2,500 troops across both Afghanistan and Iraq, down from the previous amount of 4,500 and 3,000, respectively.[74][75][76][77] US National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien issued a statement on behalf of President Trump that it was his hope the incoming Biden administration would have all US troops "come home safely, and in their entirety" by their previously agreed 1 May 2021 deadline.[77] Joe Biden had previously signaled his support for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan during his presidential campaign,[78] although he left room for the possibility that the US would be "open to maintaining a small number of troops in the country whose mission would focus solely on counterterrorism operations".[79] O'Brien added that the remaining troops in Afghanistan were to defend American diplomats, the American embassy, and other agencies of the US government operating in Afghanistan.[77] The announcement was criticized by United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island.[74][75][77]

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned in a statement that "the price for leaving too soon or in an uncoordinated way could be very high".[76] Critics said that the Afghan withdrawal would undermine the fragile security situation in the region and that the troop reductions would hamper the ongoing peace talks between Taliban fighters and the government of Afghanistan.[74][75][76] According to a senior defense official the conditions used to measure the drawdown were based on whether national security would be threatened by a reduction in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops. "We do not feel that it is," said the official. The other condition was, "can we maintain a force posture in Afghanistan that permits us to carry out our mission with our allies and partners?"[75] The announcement created anxiety in Afghanistan because there was a fear of a Taliban resurgence and US troops were considered a hedge against the group. Atiqullah Amarkhel, a retired Afghan Army general and military analyst, told The New York Times that the Taliban "are stronger than in the past, and if the Americans leave and don't support and assist the Afghan Army they won't resist long, and the Taliban will take over."[76]

The Trump administration completed its reduction of forces to 2,500 troops in January 2021, the lowest number of American soldiers in Afghanistan since 2001.[80] By January 2021, there were more than seven contractors for each US military service member remaining in Afghanistan, amounting to over 18,000 contractors,[81] according to figures from US Central Command.[81] In January 2021, incoming president Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the US would review the peace agreement in order to effectively withdraw its remaining 2,500 soldiers from Afghanistan.[82] Biden supported a full withdrawal in 2014[83] but it was initially unclear as to whether he would uphold Trump's May 2021 withdrawal deadline.[84][85][86]

General Austin S. Miller alongside Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Afghanistan, March 2021

On 18 February 2021, Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO had not made a decision on how to proceed regarding the withdrawal.[87][88] Britain was expected to withdraw its remaining 750 Resolute Support Mission troops at the same time as the US[89] and NATO troops would also follow the same withdrawal timeline. In April 2021, the US indicated that some troops (the exact number had not yet been decided) will remain in the country to provide diplomatic security,[90] and it remained unclear what would happen to the several hundred US special operations forces working for the CIA on counter-terrorism missions.[91][90] CIA Director William Joseph Burns told the US Senate Intelligence Committee on 14 April 2021, that "[t]here is a significant risk once the US military and the coalition militaries withdraw" but added that the US would retain "a suite of capabilities".[92] The Biden administration reportedly intended to use a broad array of foreign police tools ranging from military occupation to total abandonment.[92]

In March 2021, news reports stated that President Biden was potentially considering keeping US forces in Afghanistan until November 2021.[17][93] However, on 14 April 2021, Biden announced his intention to withdraw all regular US troops by 11 September 2021, the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and four months after the 1 May deadline negotiated prior.[17][90][94][95][96][97] The day before the announcement, Biden called former US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama regarding his decision to withdraw.[98] US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the decision was made in order to refocus resources on countering China and the COVID-19 pandemic.[99] Following withdrawal, the US was reportedly considering options for redeploying troops in the region, such as relocating to US Navy vessels, countries in the Middle East, or Central Asian countries like Tajikistan.[100][90][92]

Biden said that after nearly 20 years of war, it was clear that the US military could not transform Afghanistan into a modern democracy.[101]

Taliban offensive and continued withdrawal[edit]

Aerial porters load a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter unto a C-17 Globemaster III for departure from Bagram Airfield, June 16, 2021

In the aftermath of the US–Taliban deal, the US stopped supporting the Afghan military in its offensive operations, forcing it to take mostly defensive positions around the country. According to the agreement, US military aircraft could not attack Taliban groups waiting more than 500 meters away, giving the Taliban an edge in targeting Afghan military units. The agreement also exacerbated the morale of the Afghan army and police, making them more open to accepting bargains with the Taliban. Due to a lack of information and secret annexes in the agreement, that had not been shared even with the then Afghan government, the Taliban were able to spread propaganda and disinformation about the agreement, including convincing local police and military units that the US had handed over territories to the Taliban and that they should abandon their positions.[102]

In the 45 days after the agreement (between March 1 and April 15, 2020), the Taliban conducted more than 4,500 attacks in Afghanistan, an increase of more than 70% compared to the same period in the previous year.[103] More than 900 Afghan security forces were killed in the period, up from about 520 in the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, because of a significant reduction in the number of offensives and airstrikes by Afghan and US forces against the Taliban, Taliban casualties dropped to 610 in the period down from about 1,660 in the same period a year earlier. The Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said that although the Taliban stopped conducting attacks against the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, the violence was still "unacceptably high" and "not conducive to a diplomatic solution." He added: "We have continued to do defensive attacks to help defend our partners in the area and we will continue to do that."[103]

On 1 May 2021, the Taliban launched a major offensive, making quick advances against the retreating US-trained Afghan Armed Forces.[104]

On 2 July, Germany and Italy withdrew their troops from Afghanistan.[105] On the same day, American forces vacated Bagram Airfield. Afghan officials complained that the Americans had left without notifying the new Afghan commander until more than two hours after abandoning the base. As a result, the base was ransacked by looters before they could take control of the airfield.[106][107][108] Meanwhile, fighting raged between the Taliban and Afghan government forces, with analysts from Al Jazeera saying that the Taliban was "at the door of Kabul".[109] On 8 July 2021, President Biden announced that the official conclusion to the war in Afghanistan would be on 31 August 2021.[13] Biden defended the withdrawal of US troops, saying to trust "the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped and ... more competent in terms of conducting war".[110] but the Afghan army was easily overwhelmed by the Taliban's advance in a matter of weeks.[111]

A map of Afghanistan showing the 2021 Taliban offensive.

On 12 July 2021, Austin S. Miller stepped down from his post as commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.[112]

By 12 July 2021, the Taliban had seized 139 districts from the Afghan National Army. According to a US intelligence report, the Afghan government was expected to collapse within six months of the withdrawal,[113][114] however the US military later revised the assessment stating the collapse would occur much sooner.[115]

Spokesmen for the Taliban, including Suhail Shaheen and Mohammad Naeem, issued statements that all foreign forces should withdraw from Afghanistan. The Taliban (self-styled the "Islamic Emirate") refused to participate in any talks until all foreign forces had withdrawn from the country.[116][96] Local militias in the north of the country had reportedly engaged in combat against the Taliban.[117] Footage taken on 16 June and released on 13 July showed Taliban gunmen executing 22 Afghan servicemen who had been attempting to surrender.[118]

Australia had 1,500 troops in Afghanistan before the American-led withdrawal. That number was further reduced to 80[119] before Australian forces were completely withdrawn on 15 July.[120]

On 21 July, the highest-ranking US military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, reported that half of all districts in Afghanistan were under Taliban control and that momentum was "sort of" on the side with the Taliban.[121] On 21 July 2021, the US Air Force launched airstrikes against Taliban positions in Afghanistan.[122]

It was reported by the UN Security Council in July 2021 that members of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) are still present in as many as 15 Afghan provinces, and that they are operating under Taliban protection in Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz provinces in violation of the US–Taliban deal.[123][124][125]

Operation Allies Refuge[edit]

US Marines of the 24th MEU evacuating US embassy staff at Kabul Airport, 15 August 2021
82nd Airborne Division soldiers guarding Kabul Airport on 17 August 2021
Marines guarding an evacuation checkpoint at Kabul Airport on 20 August
A C-RAM intercepts a rocket attack on Kabul Airport, 30 August
Army Major General Christopher T. Donahue boards a C-17 at the Kabul Airport as the final American soldier to depart Afghanistan, 30 August

On 22 July 2021, the US House of Representatives voted 407–16 to pass the ALLIES Act, a bill that would improve and provide visas for Afghan interpreters who worked for American personnel during the war.[126][127] The initiative aimed to bring in Afghans under a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), which would allow them to bring their families and establish work in the United States. The SIV program was first created in 2006 by Congress, for Iraq and Afghan interpreters, with an estimated 50,000 or more individuals qualifying for the program.[citation needed] The first flight of the program arrived on 30 July 2021, with individuals who had qualified for the SIV and family members. While the majority of arrivals were to be relocated either to the United States, US facilities abroad or other countries to finish out the visa applications, the first group were to complete their visa applications at Fort Lee, Virginia, due to prior background checks and security screening.[128]

In August 2021, as the Taliban captured city after city including Lashkar Gah and Kandahar, where the elite forces of the Afghan government were deployed, the Biden Administration continued to defend the withdrawal and their support for the "political process" in Afghanistan, saying it was up to Afghan leaders to "show political will at this point to push back". In the words of the President, "Afghan leaders have to come together".[115]

News from within the Canadian government released on 12 August 2021 confirmed the country sent a small but undisclosed number of special forces to assist the evacuation effort in Kabul and secure the country's embassy.[129] The next day, on 13 August 2021, the Canadian government announced a plan to resettle 20,000 displaced Afghans in Canada.[130]

Kabul airlift[edit]

On 15 August 2021, the Taliban seized the capital city of Kabul as the Afghan government under President Ashraf Ghani dissolved, the speed of which surprised the US government.[131] With Taliban fighters surrounding the city, the US embassy evacuated and retreated to Hamid Karzai International Airport, where fleeing Afghan forces had handed over control to NATO. As the security situation in the city deteriorated, other countries began to shutter and evacuate their respective embassies to the airport, where it became the center of the withdrawal for all US and NATO personnel as it became the only secure route out of Afghanistan.[132] 5,000 US troops and some NATO troops, including British, Italian, Turkish, and Spanish personnel, remained in the city as chaos was ensuing as thousands of fleeing Afghan civilians rushed the airport, overrunning the runway and forcing US troops to conduct crowd control.[133][134] The US government later authorized the deployment of 1,000 additional troops from the 82nd Airborne to the airport, increasing troop presence in Kabul to 6,000 to facilitate the evacuations.[135] With the fall of Kabul, the military withdrawal evolved into an airlift of all of NATO's diplomatic staff, at-risk Afghan and Western nationals, and eligible refugees able to enter the surrounded Kabul Airport, prompting Western countries to send in additional troops to facilitate the evacuations.

On 16 August, the United Kingdom agreed to send 200 additional troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total number of British troops in the country to 900.[136]

Also on 16 August, following the chaotic start of the Kabul Airport airlifts, President Biden held a press conference in which he justified the reasons for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, affirming his view that following through on the withdrawal was the correct decision.[137] On 18 August, US House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Gregory Meeks (D-NY) called for Biden to delay the withdrawal, stating that the evacuations were a more important priority.[138]

There were about 650 US troops in Afghanistan in early August 2021. With the rapid advance of the Taliban in the provinces, on 14 August the US increased its troop commitment to 5,000.[22] On 15 August, with the fall of Kabul, another 1,000 troops were deployed,[23] and on 16 August, another 1,000 troops were deployed, bringing the total number of troops to 7,000.[citation needed]

During some evacuation incidents at the Kabul Airport, the Taliban fired crowd control gunshots and blocked efforts which were made by Britain to carry out evacuations.[139][140]

On 19 August, the US Navy confirmed that F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from the USS Ronald Reagan—which was sailing in the North Arabian Sea—had been conducting armed overwatch sorties over Kabul, but denied that any low passes, shows of force, or airstrikes had been conducted. This contradicted previous social media reports by journalists and local sources that there had been fighter jets flying low over the city. A day prior, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, confirmed that a variety of air assets were flying similar overwatch missions across Afghanistan, including AC-130 gunships, MQ-9 Reaper drones, F-16C/D Viper fighter jets, B-52H bombers, and AV-8B Harrier jump jets, and that they were poised to provide close air support in case of contingencies, alongside other assets positioned in the region.[141]

On 20 August, President Biden promised Americans that are stuck in Afghanistan that the US government will bring them back home. He also stated that the government do not know the exact number of Americans that are still in Afghanistan, and how many of them want to come back home to the United States.[142]

On 23 August, at the direction of Biden, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns reportedly held a secret meeting in Kabul with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar, whom had returned to Afghanistan from exile in Qatar, to discuss the withdrawal's August 31 deadline. The Qataris helped facilitate the meeting, which was described by a US official as "an exchange of views on what needs to happen to be done". The Qatari government, the CIA, and the White House did not initially comment on the reports.[143][144]

On 26 August, there was a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport, killing 11 Marines, one Army paratrooper, one Navy Corpsman and upwards of 70 Afghan citizens. [145][146][147]

The final British flight from Kabul took place on 28 August.[148]

In the early morning hours of 30 August, a US counter rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) defense system operated by 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment intercepted five rockets launched at the airport, with no reports of casualties. ISIL-K claimed responsibility.[149][150]

The last US military planes left Afghanistan on 30 August.[24] Christopher T. Donahue was the final American soldier to leave Afghanistan.[151] Following the last US flight, Taliban soldiers entered the airport and declared victory.[152]

US Forces Afghanistan Forward[edit]

24th MEU Marines monitor air traffic control alongside the runway at Kabul Airport, 22 August 2021

About 650 US troops remained on the ground in Afghanistan in early August 2021, keeping to a schedule made months earlier. They were tasked with protecting the airport and embassy.[15][16] By 12 August, however, as the Taliban had—within just a few days—captured 18 of 34 provincial capitals including Herat and Kandahar, the US and UK said they would send more troops to evacuate embassy staff, other US and UK nationals, and their local translators. For this purpose, the US planned to send 3,000 troops and the UK planned to send 600 troops[153] as part of US Forces Afghanistan Forward.[154] Mazar-i-Sharif was taken by the Taliban on 14 August; on this day, the US increased its troop commitment to 5,000.[155] On 15 August, the Taliban seized Kabul and overthrew the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as President Ashraf Ghani fled the country;[156] after which the Taliban took the presidential palace.[157] However, 5,000 US troops still remained in Kabul, and NATO troops were still present at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.[134][133] The same day, the US government ordered the deployment of 1,000 additional troops from the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division to Afghanistan, bringing the total number of US troops in Kabul to 6,000.[158][159] On 16 August, President Biden announced the deployment of another thousand members of the 82nd Airborne Division, bringing the total number of troops to 7,000 in the coming hours.[160]

Officially, the purpose of the mission was to:[161]

Controversy over withdrawal claim[edit]

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and CENTCOM commander General Frank McKenzie testify before Congress on the withdrawal from Afghanistan on 29 September 2021

On 28 September 2021, U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Milley, CENTCOM Commander Gen. McKenzie and other U.S. Department of Defense officials contradicted during testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee President Biden's previous claim which he made in an interview with ABC News journalist George Stephanopolous in August 2021 that he withdrew U.S. troops from Afghanistan based on advice from senior military advisors.[27][162] Milley testified that he advised the President to accept Gen. Austin Miller's recommendation to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and described Biden's withdrawal plan as a "strategic failure."[27] Secretary Austin described Biden's public "over-the-horizon" counter-terrorism strategy which was used to justify the Afghanistan withdrawal as "misleading at best and dishonest at worst" and also stated that he was concerned about the presence of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, which he warned could pose a threat to the United States in "less than a year."[163][164] McKenzie stated that he recommended to President Biden that 2,500 U.S. troops should maintain a presence in Afghanistan and that he also previously recommended to the Trump Administration in the fall of 2020 to keep 4,500 troops at that time.[165] The next day, Austin, Milley and McKenzie would further criticize Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal when they testified before U.S. House Armed Services Committee.[166][28]

Analysis[edit]

According to some media analysts, such as Alexander Nazaryan of Yahoo! News, the withdrawal was included among other actions that Biden broke with both Obama and Trump on, and was seen as maintaining the promise Biden made prior to becoming president that his term would not be "a third Obama term" because "President Trump has changed the landscape". Princeton professor Julian E. Zelizer claimed Biden "clearly learned a great deal from his time in the Obama presidency". Washington Post journalist Steven Levingston wrote, "Obama listened to military leaders who advised him that withdrawal would be a mistake. Biden, meanwhile, was the top administration official arguing for a much more limited role for American forces in Afghanistan. Later, Biden would go on to say that he could tell by Obama's 'body language' that he agreed with that assessment—even though he ultimately rejected it." Harvard historian James Kloppenberg stated, "only a fool would have been confident he knew all the answers [when it came to Afghanistan]. Obama was no fool."[167]

The Diplomat reported on 17 April 2021, about the internal and external challenges for Afghanistan following the US troop withdrawal from the perspective of Afghanistan's civil society.[168]

The Washington Post editorial board was critical of the withdrawal in an article dated 2 July 2021, saying the US was allowing its ally to fend for itself against the Taliban with insufficient resources, writing, "the descent from stalemate to defeat could be steep and grim. We wonder whether [Biden] has fully considered the consequences."[169]

David E. Sanger, a New York Times correspondent, analyzed the decision to leave Afghanistan by Joe Biden, and consequently the manner of the fall of Kabul, as the result of four basic assumptions, or miscalculations: that there was enough time before the Afghan government collapsed for the US to withdraw, that the Afghan forces had "the same drive" to win as the Taliban did, that there was "a well-planned system for evacuating the embassy" and Afghans who had helped the US and their families, and that if the Taliban made it to Kabul, that there would be a "bloody block-by-block civil war" taking place in its streets.[170] A report from the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released on 17 August found that the US had "struggled to develop and implement a coherent strategy" for the war and that "if the goal was to rebuild and leave a country that could sustain itself and pose little threat to US national security interests, the overall picture is bleak". The report also found that the US prioritised internal political interests instead of Afghan interests, that it had demonstrated ignorance of local context, and had wasted billions of dollars on unsustainable and bureaucratic projects.[171]

On 22 August, The Daily Telegraph reported that "President Joe Biden's aides were “too scared” to question him on key decisions made in the run-up to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, sources close to the administration have told The Telegraph."[172]

Equipment losses[edit]

The Biden administration left behind billions of dollars of American military hardware in Afghanistan within the reach of the Taliban, according to auditors with Open the Books, a government spending watchdog. The nonprofit found that over the course of the war in Afghanistan, the federal government doled out $89.2 billion to strengthen Afghan security forces, Just The News reported Saturday. The figure reportedly includes money spent on military equipment and training. "The hasty withdrawal of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan turned the Taliban into a major U.S. arms dealer for the next decade," CEO and Founder of Open The Books Adam Andrzejewski told the outlet. "The Taliban is going to be selling tickets to their terrorist gun show."[173]

Around 650,000 weapons, according to Andrzejewski, were left in Afghanistan, Just The News reported. This includes 350,000 M4 and M16 rifles, 65,000 machine guns, 25,000 grenade launchers and 2,500 mortars and howitzers, according to Andrzejewski. "The watchdog found the United States provided 75,000 military vehicles including 50,000 light-  and medium-tactical vehicles, 22,000 Humvees and 928 mine-resistant vehicles to Afghanistan since 2001," Just The News' report stated. Furthermore, according to Andrzejewski, the United States had given 110 Black Hawk helicopters, costing $21 million each; 20 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft, worth $21.3 million each; and 7 C-208 light attack airplanes, each costing $12.1 million, to the Afghan security forces prior to their collapse at the Taliban's hands.[173]

The U.S. also invested surveillance and reconnaissance equipment in Afghanistan. This included six Aerostat surveillance balloons, each costing taxpayers $8.9 million; eight ScanEagle drones, each costing $1.4 million; and more than 16,000 night vision devices costing $80 million in total, according to the nonprofit. "In November in Afghanistan, the Taliban, on the streets of the capital city of Kabul, held a military parade," Andrzejewski said, according to WHAM-TV. "In the skies were our aircraft and helicopters, on the streets were our armored vehicles and their soldiers marching in the parade we're carrying our rifles." Should the U.S. go back to Afghanistan if circumstances warrant American intervention, the number of weapons accessible to the Sunni Islamist group's hands could "take its toll on our military, our human lives and our national treasure," Andrzejewski claimed. "The Biden Administration promised a 'peace dividend' from leaving Afghanistan. However, the National Defense Authorization Act just increased funding of the U.S. military by $30 billion," Andrzejewski said, according to Just The News. "There's no peace dividend, as the world is much more unsafe today because of the botched withdrawal."[173]

According to the last CENTCOM update on the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States had retrograded "984 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan and have turned nearly 17,074 pieces of equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposition." However, a large number of American weaponry and a considerable number of aircraft were in the hands of the Afghan security forces. When the Taliban began to sweep through the country's districts, before eventually taking over Kabul, tons of American weaponry fell into the hands of the Islamists, who once sheltered 9/11 terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. Afghanistan faces a humanitarian crisis under the rule of the Taliban as the militant group begins to eliminate freedoms people in the country once enjoyed under American occupation. Two weeks ago, the outfit's ministry for Islamic guidance banned women from traveling in taxis without their heads fully covered. If a woman should journey beyond 45 miles, a male relative must accompany her, according to the Washington Post.[173]

Reactions[edit]

Domestic[edit]

On 8 July 2021, US President Joe Biden stated that, "The likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely."[174]

The Biden administration's initial announcement of a full withdrawal of troops by 11 September 2021, generated both criticism and praise within the US.[90][92] Senators Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Jim Inhofe,[175] Mitt Romney,[176] Joni Ernst,[177] and Jeanne Shaheen[178] criticized the withdrawal, while Patrick Leahy, Barbara Lee, Elizabeth Warren,[179] Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna,[180] Rand Paul[181] and Jack Reed[182] supported the decision. Former President Donald Trump, while maintaining that withdrawal was "a wonderful and positive thing to do," criticized Biden for choosing 11 September as the day of the withdrawal, criticizing the deadline extension as "we can and should get out earlier," calling for the US to withdraw "as close" to 1 May as possible, and that 11 September "should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost."[183][184] Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that there were "consequences both foreseen and unintended of staying and of leaving"; one of these consequences, she expressed, was a potential collapse of the Afghan government, resulting in a takeover by the Taliban and a fresh civil war.[185] Former President George W. Bush, who oversaw the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, said the withdrawal made him "concerned" and that he believed it had the potential to "create a vacuum, and into that vacuum is likely to come people who treat women as second class citizens."[186] During an interview with Deutsche Welle on 14 July 2021, Bush reaffirmed his opposition to the troop withdrawal.[187] Trump also reaffirmed his criticism of Biden's handling of the withdrawal in an interview with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, calling it "the dumbest move ever made in U.S. history" and claiming that his negotiation with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar accomplished more.[188] Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby criticised[189] the idea that the 2,500 troops in Afghanistan constituted a "forever war" that needed to end, pointing out that U.S. troops have been in Germany since 1945, with 35,000 there in 2021, and more troops currently in Korea, Djibouti, Bahrain, and Spain than Afghanistan. Jacoby argued the U.S. presence should have continued, citing accomplishments like successful suppression of the Taliban, halving of infant mortality, tripling access to electricity, a ten-fold increase in school attendance, and the inclusion of girls in education.

Following the collapse of the Afghanistan government on 15 August 2021, the Biden administration's withdrawal plan received bipartisan backlash.[190] Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Chief Leon Panetta, who oversaw the raid which successfully killed Osama bin Laden,[191] compared Biden's poor withdrawal planning to that of how former US President John F. Kennedy handled the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion.[192] In addition to Republicans, numerous fellow Democrats in Congress, including chairs of some important Congressional committees, criticized Biden's handling of the withdrawal as well.[193] Jordain Carney of The Hill wrote on 18 August 2021 that Biden now had "few Capitol Hill allies" amid the Afghanistan backlash.[194] During an interview with ABC News, Biden defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, and that chaos during the withdrawal is inevitable. Biden stated that while he had priced in enormous chaos in the withdrawal, and what is happening in Afghanistan is not priced in by him.[195] Former Trump Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller also criticized Biden's choice of sticking to a withdrawal date, stating in an interview with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo that while the Trump Administration was leaning towards a withdrawal, no date was fixed, stating "We felt we had the ability to move the goal posts if we needed to on that one, in a way."[196]

Joint Task Force-Crisis Response personnel carry the remains of fellow service members killed in the 26 August Kabul Airport attack, 27 August 2021

The Biden Administration faced further domestic criticism after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban following the Fall of Kabul in August 2021.[197][198][199][200] President Biden's approval rating dropped to 41% and only 26% of Americans said they support Biden' s handling of the situation in Afghanistan.[201] Some Republicans, including Senator Josh Hawley, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and former Ambassador Nikki Haley, called on Biden to resign.[202] Former American presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, each of whom had overseen significant developments in the War in Afghanistan, also faced criticism.[203] In the UK, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab faced calls to resign after it was revealed he had gone on holiday to Greece just prior to the fall and had refused attempts to contact him as developments occurred.[204]

Some white nationalists and related extremists celebrated the Taliban takeover and American withdrawal on social media. White nationalist Nick Fuentes posted on the Telegram messaging service, "The Taliban is a conservative, religious force, the US is godless and liberal. The defeat of the US government in Afghanistan is unequivocally a positive development." Some experts warned American extremists would use events in Afghanistan to push disinformation, organize and recruit.[205][206][207]

Stuart Scheller, a United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, was relieved of command after asking for his superiors to take responsibility for murdering innocents for profit and leaving his fellow troops and innocents behind in Afghanistan. He posted a video to Facebook demanding U.S. military leadership take responsibility after the 2021 Fall of Kabul, and was placed in the brig after refusing to take down his social media posts.[208][209][210][211] His calls for accountability have been replayed by major TV hosts such as Tucker Carlson and CBS News. His imprisonment was reported by media including Fox News, The Independent, Daily Mail, and New York Post. Republican members of Congress called for his release from pretrial confinement.[212] Scheller was released from confinement on October 5, 2021.[211][213] On October 14, 2021, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. pled guilty to all six misdemeanor-level charges. On October 15, 2021, Scheller was issued a letter of reprimand and a forfeiture of $5,000 of pay. The judge stated he did not condone Scheller's offenses, but noted Scheller's 17 year United States Marine Corps career as an officer with an outstanding record.[214] ABC News reported Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. concerns reporting that around 50 U.S.-trained former Afghan Air Force helicopter pilots are still trapped and left behind in Afghanistan and pleading for the United States government to evacuate them from the country, where they fear they face execution if found by the Taliban.[215]

International[edit]

President Joe Biden meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman Abdullah Abdullah, 25 June 2021

On 25 May 2021, Australia closed its Embassy in Kabul due to security concerns.[216] Belgium and France withdrew their diplomats.[217] May 10th, France began evacuating Afghans working for it, resulting in being called "pessimistic".[218] The Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan issued a travel warning on 19 June, urging Chinese citizens to "leave Afghanistan as soon as possible" and demanding Chinese organizations to "take extra precautions and strengthen their emergency preparedness as the situation deteriorated" in the country.[219] The Chinese government dispatched a charter-flight operated by XiamenAir to evacuate 210 Chinese nationals from Kabul on 2 July.[220]

The two presidents of Afghanistan after the 2001 invasion, Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani, both criticized the "abrupt" withdrawal of US troops from the country as giving momentum to the Taliban advance, with Karzai calling on the United States to "end this failed mission".[221][222] At the 2021 Raisina Dialogue, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran, said that the withdrawal was a welcome move, adding that foreign troops could not bring peace in Afghanistan.[223]

British Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace said the US put Britain in a "very difficult position" following the withdrawal, though they subsequently followed suit.[224] The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan had a negative impact on United Kingdom–United States relations,[225] with the British government briefing media against the American government.[226] The fall of Afghanistan also had a negative impact on United States–European Union relations.[227][228] Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, condemned the US withdrawal, stating that the US' decision to leave was "political" rather than "strategic". In an article on the website of Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, he wrote, "The abandonment of Afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours."[229] Blair further accused Biden of being "in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars’," and warned that “The world is now uncertain of where the West stands because it is so obvious that the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in this way was driven not by grand strategy but by politics."[230]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Resolute Support Mission (RSM): Key Facts and Figures" (PDF). Nato.int. February 2021.
  2. ^ "I also thank the military forces of NATO Allies, in particular Turkey, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and our partner Azerbaijan, for their vital role in securing the airport". NATO. 20 August 2021. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Finnish troops to continue in Afghanistan evacuation operations, minister says". Yle. 24 August 2021. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Pakistan emerges as 'biggest base for evacuation' of foreigners from Afghanistan".
  5. ^ Mahmud, Aqil Haziq (23 August 2021). "Singapore to help US evacuate refugees from Afghanistan using RSAF tanker-transport plane". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  6. ^ "20 people have been killed at Kabul airport since Sunday as the Taliban say they 'don't want to hurt anyone'". Reuters. 22 August 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  7. ^ Qazi, Shereena (29 February 2020). "Afghanistan's Taliban, US sign agreement aimed at ending war". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 12 September 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  8. ^ Borger, Julian (18 May 2022). "US withdrawal triggered catastrophic defeat of Afghan forces, damning watchdog report finds". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  9. ^ "US withdrawal prompted collapse of Afghan army: Report". Al Jazeera. 18 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  10. ^ Rai, Manish (21 March 2020). "U.S.-Taliban Deal: India should Chalk-out a New Strategy". Oped Column Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 January 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  11. ^ Cronk, Terri Moon (14 April 2021). "Biden Announces Full U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan by Sept. 11". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 16 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Remarks by President Biden on the Way Forward in Afghanistan". The White House. 14 April 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  13. ^ a b Miller, Zeke; Madhani, Aamer (8 July 2021). "Biden says US war in Afghanistan will end August 31". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 8 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  14. ^ Landler, Mark; Shear, Michael D. (25 August 2021). "Biden Sticks to Afghan Deadline, Resisting Pleas to Extend Evacuation". The New York Times.
  15. ^ a b Cooper, Helene; Rogers, Katie; Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (8 August 2021). "As Taliban Capture Cities, U.S. Says Afghan Forces Must Fend for Themselves". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  16. ^ a b Swanson, Ian (25 June 2021). "Roughly 650 troops to stay in Afghanistan after withdrawal: report". The Hill. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  17. ^ a b c d Satia, Priya (27 April 2021). Felsenthal, Edward (ed.). "History's Warning for the U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan". Time. New York City. Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  18. ^ Kevin Liptak; Jeff Zeleny; Kaitlan Collins; Jennifer Hansler; Maegan Vazquez (16 August 2021). "Biden admits Afghanistan's collapse 'did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated'". CNN.
  19. ^ Merchant, Nomaan; Miller, Zeke (18 August 2021). "Misread warnings helped lead to chaotic Afghan evacuation". AP NEWS.
  20. ^ "US sending troops to help evacuate embassy staff in Kabul". Al Jazeera. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  21. ^ Martin, David (12 August 2021). "Pentagon sending troops to Kabul to help evacuation of U.S. Embassy". CBS News. Archived from the original on 15 August 2021.
  22. ^ a b DeYoung, Karen; George, Susannah; Pannett, Rachel; Westfall, Sammy (14 August 2021). "Biden authorizes additional troops to Kabul as Taliban closes in on capital".
  23. ^ a b Kube, Courtney; Finn, Teaganne (15 August 2021). "U.S. to send 1,000 more troops to Kabul after Afghan government collapses". NBC News. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  24. ^ a b Gaouette, Nicole; Hansler, Jennifer; Starr, Barbara; Liebermann, Oren (31 August 2021). "The last US military planes have left Afghanistan, marking the end of the United States' longest war". CNN. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  25. ^ Melissa Eddy and; Thomas Gibbons-Neff (5 September 2021). "U.S. Citizens and Afghans Wait for Evacuation Flights From Country's North". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021. Around 1,000 people, including dozens of American citizens and Afghans holding visas to the United States or other countries, remained stuck in Afghanistan for the fifth day on Sunday as they awaited clearance for the departure from the Taliban
  26. ^ Brown, Matthew (5 September 2021). "GOP Rep. Michael McCaul: Taliban won't let planes of Americans leave Mazar-i-Shari". USA Today. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  27. ^ a b c Chalfant, Morgan (28 September 2021). "Generals contradict Biden, say they advised leaving troops in Afghanistan". The Hill. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  28. ^ a b "Top military leaders testify on Afghanistan withdrawal". CNN. 29 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  29. ^ DeYoung, Karen (23 June 2011). "Obama's drawdown in Afghanistan will shift tactics in war". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 13 December 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  30. ^ Landler, Mark; Cooper, Helene (22 June 2011). "Obama Will Speed Pullout From War in Afghanistan". New York Times. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  31. ^ a b Sisk, Richard (29 December 2014). "Amid Confusion, DoD Names New Mission 'Operation Freedom's Sentinel'". Military.com.
  32. ^ Lake, Eli (16 June 2017). "Without plan, Trump allows more troops for Afghanistan". The Wichita Eagle. WP Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  33. ^ Copp, Tara (21 July 2017). "Mattis: Authority delegated by Trump in Afghanistan is tactical, not strategic". Military Times. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  34. ^ Nicole Gaouette (17 June 2017). "Trump delegates troop decisions, to praise and concern". CNN. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  35. ^ Gordon, Michael R. (13 June 2017). "Trump Gives Mattis Authority to Send More Troops to Afghanistan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 June 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  36. ^ Starr, Barbara; Browne, Ryan (14 June 2017). "Mattis confirms White House has given him authority to set Afghanistan troop levels". CNN. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  37. ^ a b David Nakamura and Abby Phillip (21 August 2017). "Politics Trump announces new strategy for Afghanistan that calls for a troop increase". Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  38. ^ Hirschfeld Davis, Julie; Landler, Mark (21 August 2017). "Trump Outlines New Afghanistan War Strategy With Few Details". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  39. ^ Mujib Mashal (24 August 2017). "U.S. Troop Increase in Afghanistan Is Underway, General Says". Archived from the original on 12 August 2021. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  40. ^ a b c d Baldor, Lolita C. (30 August 2017). "Pentagon: US troop total in Afghanistan larger than reported". Associated Press. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  41. ^ a b Cooper, Helene (30 August 2017). "U.S. Says It Has 11,000 Troops in Afghanistan, More Than Formerly Disclosed". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  42. ^ Thomas Gibbons-Neff (30 August 2017). "Checkpoint: Afghan troop surge likely to include thousands of paratroopers, Marines and heavy bombers". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  43. ^ Mitchell, Ellen (18 September 2017). "Mattis: US to send 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan". The Hill. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  44. ^ "Mattis says over 3,000 additional U.S. troops will deploy to Afghanistan". CBS News. 18 September 2017. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  45. ^ "US sends 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan". BBC News US & Canada. 18 September 2017. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  46. ^ a b George, Susannah (21 October 2019). "U.S. has begun reducing troops in Afghanistan, commander says". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  47. ^ Craig Whitlock (9 December 2019). "Confidential documents reveal U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  48. ^ Ryan Pickrell (9 December 2019). "Top US officials knew the Afghanistan war was unwinnable and 'lied' — even as costs rose to $1 trillion and 2,351 American troop's lives". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 23 October 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  49. ^ a b "Afghan conflict: US and Taliban sign deal to end 18-year war". BBC News. 29 February 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  50. ^ Lee, Matthew; Gannon, Kathy (29 February 2020). "US and Taliban sign deal aimed at ending war in Afghanistan". Associated Press.
  51. ^ a b "Afghan conflict: President Ashraf Ghani rejects Taliban prisoner release". BBC News. 1 March 2020. Archived from the original on 21 April 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  52. ^ Greenfield, Charlotte; Shalizi, Hamid (29 February 2020). "U.S. to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 14 months if Taliban conditions met". Reuters. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  53. ^ Mujib Mashal (29 February 2020). "Taliban and U.S. Strike Deal to Withdraw American Troops From Afghanistan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  54. ^ Mujib Mashal and Russell Goldman (29 February 2020). "4 Takeaways From the U.S. Deal With the Taliban". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  55. ^ Tom Vanden Brook and Deirdre Shesgreen (29 February 2020). "Historic peace deal in Afghanistan reached with Taliban, allowing withdrawal of US troops". USA Today. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  56. ^ Jennifer Hansler (29 February 2020). "US and Taliban sign historic agreement". CNN. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  57. ^ Sediqi, Abdul Qadir; Cornwell, Alexander (29 February 2020). "U.S. and Taliban sign troop withdrawal deal; now comes the hard part". Reuters. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  58. ^ Gannon, Kathy (1 March 2020). "Afghan peace deal hits first snag over prisoner releases". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  59. ^ Sirat, Siyar (1 March 2020). "Ghani: No Commitment to Release Taliban Prisoners". TOLOnews. Archived from the original on 3 April 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  60. ^ "President Ghani rejects peace deal's prisoner swap with Taliban". Al Jazeera. 1 March 2020. Archived from the original on 4 April 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  61. ^ Schuknecht, Cat (1 March 2020). "Afghan President Rejects Timeline For Prisoner Swap Proposed In US-Taliban Peace Deal". NPR. Archived from the original on 11 April 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  62. ^ Baldor, Lolita C. (9 March 2020). "US begins troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, official says". The Military Times. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 24 March 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  63. ^ Kathy Gannon and Rahim Faiez (10 March 2020). "US starts troop pullout, seeks end to Afghan leaders' feud". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  64. ^ Snow, Shawn (10 March 2020). "CENTCOM boss says military plans for withdrawal from Afghanistan not developed yet". Military Times. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  65. ^ Vandiver, John (24 April 2020). "Army announces summer troop moves to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan". Stars and Stripes. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  66. ^ Mashal, Mujib (19 June 2020). "U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Reduced to 8,600, General Says". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 19 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  67. ^ Kheel, Rebecca (1 July 2020). "House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops". The Hill. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  68. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (2 July 2020). "House Democrats, Working With Liz Cheney, Restrict Trump's Planned Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan and Germany". The Intercept. Archived from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  69. ^ Carney, Jordain (1 June 2020). "Senate rejects Paul proposal on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan". The Hill. Archived from the original on 5 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  70. ^ a b c "US intelligence indicates Iran paid bounties to Taliban for targeting American troops in Afghanistan". CNN. 17 August 2020.
  71. ^ "Iran paid bounties for targeting US troops, intelligence reportedly suggests". The Hill. 17 August 2020.
  72. ^ Cohen, Zachary (17 August 2020). "US intelligence indicates Iran paid bounties to Taliban for targeting American troops in Afghanistan". CNN. Archived from the original on 15 February 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  73. ^ Browne, Ryan; Crawford, Jamie (9 August 2020). "Mark Esper says US troop levels in Afghanistan to go below 5,000 by end of November". CNN. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  74. ^ a b c "Donald Trump: US announces plans to cut troop levels in Afghanistan, Iraq". Al Jazeera. 17 November 2020. Archived from the original on 17 November 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  75. ^ a b c d Martinez, Luis (18 November 2020). "Pentagon announces troop reductions in Afghanistan and Iraq". ABC News. Archived from the original on 17 November 2020. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  76. ^ a b c d Faizi, Fatima; Gibbons-Neff, Thomas; Rahim, Najim (17 November 2020). "U.S. Troops Are Packing Up, Ready or Not". Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  77. ^ a b c d Browne, Ryan; Cohen, Zachary; Starr, Barbara (17 November 2020). "US announces further drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq before Biden takes office". CNN. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  78. ^ Ward, Alex (21 September 2020). "Trump and Biden want you to believe they're more anti-war than they are". Vox. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  79. ^ Peters, Cameron (25 April 2021). "The US military is finally withdrawing from Afghanistan". Vox. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  80. ^ Ali, Idrees (15 January 2021). "U.S. troops in Afghanistan now down to 2,500, lowest since 2001: Pentagon". Reuters. Archived from the original on 18 March 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  81. ^ a b Lawrence, J. P. (19 January 2021). "Troop levels are down, but US says over 18,000 contractors remain in Afghanistan". Stars & Stripes. Archived from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  82. ^ Beech, Eric (22 January 2021). "Biden administration will review deal with the Taliban: White House". Reuters. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  83. ^ Williams, Matt (26 May 2012). "Joe Biden: withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan allows military to refocus". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  84. ^ O'Connor, Tom (23 February 2021). "Exclusive: Taliban Warns Biden Going Back on Afghanistan Deal 'Causes Problems'". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 23 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  85. ^ Liebermann, Oren; Cohen, Zachary; Atwood, Kylie (14 February 2021). "Biden has no good options on Afghanistan with deadline for troop withdrawal looming". CNN. Retrieved 24 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  86. ^ Buchanan, Pat (19 February 2021). "Is Biden Prepared to Lose Afghanistan?". Town Hall. Archived from the original on 6 March 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  87. ^ Emmott, Robin; Siebold, Sabine (18 February 2021). "No decision on any NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, Stoltenberg says". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  88. ^ Wolfgang, Ben (18 February 2021). "'No final decision:' NATO deadlocked on Afghanistan mission as May 1 deadline looms". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  89. ^ "UK troops expected to leave Afghanistan by September". BBC News. 14 April 2021. Archived from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  90. ^ a b c d e Liptak, Kevin; Herb, Jeremy; Starr, Barbara; Atwood, Kylie (13 April 2021). "Biden to announce withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11". CNN. Archived from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  91. ^ Lawrence, J. P. (19 January 2021). "Troop levels are down, but US says over 18,000 contractors remain in Afghanistan". Stars & Stripes. Archived from the original on 20 April 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  92. ^ a b c d Putz, Catherine (15 April 2021). "Biden Announces Plan for US Exit from Afghan War, Urges Attention to Future Challenges". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 19 April 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  93. ^ Lee, Carol E.; De Luce, Dan (18 March 2021). "Biden weighs keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan until November". NBC News. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  94. ^ Macias, Amanda (13 April 2021). "Biden plans to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, missing May deadline, reports say". MSNBC. Archived from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  95. ^ Wise, Alana; Breslow, Jason; Diaz, Jaclyn (15 April 2021). "Biden to announce he will end americas longest war in afghanistan". NPR. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  96. ^ a b De Luce, Dan (13 August 2021). "U.S. envoy's years of peace negotiations go up in flames in Afghanistan. What went wrong?". NBC. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  97. ^ Hadid, Diaa (29 April 2021). "U.S. Unconditional Withdrawal Rattles Afghanistan's Shaky Peace Talks". NPR. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  98. ^ Colson, Thomas (15 April 2021). "Biden called George W. Bush before he announced his Afghanistan troop withdrawal plan — but neither said whether Bush supported it". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 10 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  99. ^ Czuczka, Tony (18 April 2021). "U.S. Focus Shifting to China From Afghanistan, Blinken Says". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 18 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  100. ^ Lubold, Gordon; Salama, Vivian (8 May 2021). "Afghan Pullout Leaves U.S. Looking for Other Places to Station Its Troops". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  101. ^ Zucchino, David (7 October 2021). "The U.S. War in Afghanistan: How It Started, and How It Ended". The New York Times.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  102. ^ Kube, Courtney (18 May 2022). "U.S. watchdog report details cause of Afghan army's collapse". NBC News. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  103. ^ a b Shalizi, Hamid; Sediqi, Abdul Qadir; Jain, Rupam (1 May 2020). "Taliban step up attacks on Afghan forces since signing U.S. deal: data". Reuters. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  104. ^ Trofimov, Yaroslav (14 August 2021). "How the Taliban Overran the Afghan Army, Built by the U.S. Over 20 Years". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  105. ^ "Germany, Italy Complete Troop Exit From Afghanistan". Voice of America. 2 July 2021. Archived from the original on 2 July 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  106. ^ "US left Bagram without telling new commander: Afghan officials". Al Jazeera. 5 July 2021. Archived from the original on 8 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  107. ^ "U.S. Pulls Out of Afghanistan's Bagram Airfield in the Middle of the Night—Without Telling the New Commander". Time. 6 July 2021. Archived from the original on 8 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  108. ^ "Bagram: Last US and Nato forces leave key Afghanistan base". BBC News. 2 July 2021. Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  109. ^ "US forces leave Afghanistan's Bagram airbase after 20 years". Al Jazeera. 2 July 2021. Archived from the original on 2 July 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  110. ^ Khan, Wajahat (9 July 2021). "Biden defends Afghanistan pullout as Taliban gain ground". Nikkei Asia.
  111. ^ "Exploring the Cost of the War in Afghanistan".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  112. ^ Kube, Kourtney (12 July 2021). "Commander of U.S., NATO forces in Afghanistan is stepping down". NBC News. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  113. ^ Lamothe, Dan; Harris, Shane (24 June 2021). "Afghan government could fall within six months of U.S. military withdrawal, new intelligence assessment says". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  114. ^ Trofimov, Gordon Lubold and Yaroslav (23 June 2021). "Afghan Government Could Collapse Six Months After U.S. Withdrawal, New Intelligence Assessment Says". The Wall Street Journal.
  115. ^ a b Lamothe, Dan; Hudson, John; Harris, Shane; Gearan, Anne (10 August 2021). "U.S. officials warn collapse of Afghan capital could come sooner than expected". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  116. ^ "Afghanistan: All foreign troops must leave by deadline - Taliban". BBC. BBC News. 5 July 2021. Archived from the original on 5 July 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  117. ^ Constable, Pamela; Mehrdad, Ezzatullah (22 June 2021). "Militias in Afghanistan's north are taking up the fight against the Taliban". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  118. ^ Coren, Anna; Sidhu, Sandi; Lister, Tim; Basir Bina, Abdul (14 July 2021). "Taliban fighters execute 22 Afghan commandos as they try to surrender". CNN.
  119. ^ "All Australian troops have now been withdrawn from Afghanistan". SBS News. 11 July 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  120. ^ Levick, Ewen (15 July 2021). "ADF completes withdrawal from Afghanistan". Australian Defence Magazine. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  121. ^ Ali, Idrees; Stewart, Phil (21 July 2021). "Half of all Afghan district centers under Taliban control - U.S. general". Reuters.
  122. ^ Macias, Amanda (22 July 2021). "U.S. launched overnight airstrikes on the Taliban to support Afghan forces". CNBC. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  123. ^ Bagchi, Indrani (23 July 2021). "Al-Qaida present in at least 15 Afghan provinces: report". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  124. ^ "UN Warns of Expanding Threat from Daesh, al Qaeda in Afghanistan". TOLOnews. 24 July 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  125. ^ "Experts react: The Taliban has taken Kabul. Now what?". Atlantic Council. 15 August 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  126. ^ Knickmeyer, Ellen (22 July 2021). "House votes to evacuate more Afghan allies as US war ends". Associated Press.
  127. ^ "H.R.3985 - Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act of 2021". congress.gov. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  128. ^ "Statement of President Joe Biden on the Arrival of the First Flight of Operation Allies Refuge". The White House. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  129. ^ Brewster, Murray (12 August 2021). "Canadian special forces ready to evacuate embassy after Kandahar falls to the Taliban". CBC News. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  130. ^ Mahe, Stephane (13 August 2021). "Canada to accept 20,000 vulnerable Afghans such as women leaders, human rights workers". Reuters. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  131. ^ Miller, Zeke; Lemire, Jonathan; Boak, Josh (15 August 2021). "Biden team surprised by rapid Taliban gains in Afghanistan". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  132. ^ "Taliban Fighters Enter Kabul As Helicopters Land At U.S. Embassy". NPR. Associated Press. 15 August 2021. Archived from the original on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  133. ^ a b Mengli, Ahmed; Yusufzai, Mushtaq; Mogul, Rhea; Mitchell, Andrea (15 August 2021). "Afghan president flees country as U.S. rushes to exit with Taliban on brink of power". NBC News. Archived from the original on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  134. ^ a b Siebold, Sabine (15 August 2021). "NATO says it is helping keep Kabul airport open for evacuations". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  135. ^ Schnell, Myhael (15 August 2021). "Pentagon authorizes sending additional 1,000 troops to Afghanistan". The Hill. Archived from the original on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  136. ^ Morton, Becky (16 August 2021). "UK confident it can get Britons out of Afghanistan, Ben Wallace says". BBC News. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  137. ^ President Biden (16 August 2021). In full: Biden defiant on decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan (Television production). United States: Sky News. Retrieved 16 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  138. ^ "Evacuations more important than U.S. Afghanistan withdrawal date -House panel chairman". AM New York Metro. 18 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  139. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah; Sabbagh, Dan (19 August 2021). "Several reported killed as Taliban shoot at crowds waving Afghan flag". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  140. ^ Jain, Rupam; Gopalakrishnan, Raju; Fernandez, Clarence (22 August 2021). "Taliban fire in the air to control crowd at Kabul airport". Reuters. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  141. ^ "Navy Fighters Are Flying Armed Overwatch Missions Over Kabul". The Drive. 19 August 2021. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  142. ^ Olson, Tyler (20 August 2021). "Biden says 'we will get you home' to Americans trapped in Afghanistan exit, but not sure how many still there". Fox News. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  143. ^ Ali, Idrees; Hosenball, Mark; Hunnicut, Trevor (24 August 2021). "CIA director met Taliban leader in Afghanistan on Monday -sources". Reuters.
  144. ^ "CIA chief secretly met with Taliban leader in Kabul: Report". Al Jazeera. 24 August 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  145. ^ "13 US military personnel killed in attacks at Kabul airport". Al Jazeera. 26 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  146. ^ Picheta, Rob; Wagner, Meg; Mahtani, Melissa; Macaya, Melissa; Rocha, Veronica; Alfonso, Fernando, III (26 August 2021). "Officials: Explosion at Kabul airport appears to be a suicide attack". CNN. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  147. ^ Kottasová, Ivana; Starr, Barbara; Atwood, Kylie; Walsh, Nick Paton; Kiley, Sam; Cohen, Zachary; Hansler, Jennifer; Lister, Tim (26 August 2021). "Blast reported outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul". CNN. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  148. ^ Bowden, George; Wright, Katie (28 August 2021). "Afghanistan: British ambassador home as last UK troops leave". BBC News. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  149. ^ "C-RAM Defense System Intercepts Five Rockets Fired At Kabul Airport, US Officials: No Casualties". VOI. 30 August 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  150. ^ "Massachusetts National Guard Unit Impacts Final Days of Afghanistan Mission". DVIDS. 25 October 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  151. ^ "Last American Soldier leaves Afghanistan". DVIDS. 30 August 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  152. ^ Vanden Brook, Tom; Brown, Matthew (30 August 2021). "Afghanistan latest: Taliban leaders walk across airport runway to mark triumph; US finishes withdrawal". Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  153. ^ "Taliban reportedly captures city which housed Australian forces as US, UK, Canada prepare to send troops to extract civilians". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  154. ^ Myers, Meghann; Burns, Robert; Lee, Matthew; Knickmeyer, Ellen (12 August 2021). "About 8,000 US troops are deploying to secure evacuations from Kabul". Military Times. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  155. ^ Burns, Robert; Boak, Josh (14 August 2021). "Biden Orders 1,000 More U.S. Troops For 'Orderly' Afghanistan Departure". HuffPost. Retrieved 15 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  156. ^ Seir, Ahmad; Faiez, Rahim; Akhgar, Tameem; Gambrell, Jon (15 August 2021). "Afghan President Flees the Country as Taliban Move on Kabul". Associated Press. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  157. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (15 August 2021). "Chaos is unfolding in Afghanistan. Here's what you need to know". CNN. Retrieved 16 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  158. ^ Agence France-Presse (15 August 2021). "Biden Sends 1,000 More US Troops To Kabul To Aid Evacuations: Pentagon". Barron's. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  159. ^ Schnell, Myhael (15 August 2021). "Pentagon authorizes sending additional 1,000 troops to Afghanistan". The Hill. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  160. ^ Perchick, Michael (15 August 2021). "Another 1,000 82nd Airborne troops heading to Kabul to assist in evacuations, U.S. officials say". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  161. ^ "Washington approves establishment of 'US Forces Afghanistan Forward' command". Janes. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  162. ^ "Top generals contradict Biden's decision to withdraw all troops". ABC News. 28 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  163. ^ Moreno, Ann Daily (28 September 2021). "Al-Qaida could pose a threat to US in 'less than a year,' top military leaders say". WCTI-TV. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  164. ^ "Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Afghanistan Withdrawal". C-SPAN. 28 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  165. ^ Sprunt, Barbara (28 September 2021). "Generals Say They Recommended Keeping U.S. Troops In Afghanistan". NPR. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  166. ^ Cooper, Helene; Schmitt, Eric (29 September 2021). "Milley, Austin and McKenzie Face House Panel, a Day After Senate Testimony". New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  167. ^ Nazaryan, Alexander (14 April 2021). "Biden breaks with Obama, as well as Trump, on everything from Afghanistan to spending". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 26 April 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  168. ^ Mahendru, Ritu; Malik, Inshah (17 April 2021). "The US Exit: Views From Afghanistan's Civil Society". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  169. ^ Editorial Board (2 July 2021). "Opinion: Biden's cold response to Afghanistan's collapse will have far-reaching consequences". The Washington Post.
  170. ^ Michael Barbaro (17 August 2021). "America's Miscalculations, Afghanistan's Collapse". The Daily (Podcast). New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  171. ^ "Watchdog describes litany of US failures in Afghanistan mission". Al Jazeera. 17 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  172. ^ "Joe Biden's aides 'too afraid' to tell him he was wrong on Afghanistan, say White House insiders". The Daily Telegraph. 22 August 2021.
  173. ^ a b c d https://justthenews.com/accountability/waste-fraud-and-abuse/taliban-major-us-arms-dealer-after-weaponry-left-behind
  174. ^ Vock, Ido (15 August 2021). "The Afghan government's collapse is a humiliation for the US and Joe Biden". New Statesman. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  175. ^ Teh, Cheryl. "Top GOP hawks come out in full force against an Afghanistan withdrawal by September 11". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 19 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  176. ^ "Utah Sen. Mitt Romney opposes Biden plan to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan". Deseret News. 21 April 2021.
  177. ^ "Senator Ernst: President not considering consequences of Afghanistan withdrawal". Radio Iowa. 14 July 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  178. ^ "Shaheen says she has reservations about U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan". WMUR TV. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  179. ^ "Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal". The Hill. 13 April 2021.
  180. ^ "Opinion: Withdrawing from Afghanistan is a courageous step. Here's what must come next". The Washington Post. 15 April 2021.
  181. ^ "Senator Rand Paul supports pulling troops from Afghanistan". 14 News. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  182. ^ Kamisar, Ben (11 July 2021). "Biden picked 'best of many poor choices' in Afghanistan says Senate Armed Services chair". NBC News. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  183. ^ Hoffman, Jason; Cole, Devan (18 April 2021). "Trump calls Afghanistan withdrawal 'a wonderful and positive thing to do' and criticizes Biden's timeline". CNN. Archived from the original on 20 April 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  184. ^ Saric, Ivana (18 April 2021). "Trump calls Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal "wonderful" and "positive"". Axios. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  185. ^ "Hillary Clinton warns of 'huge consequences' in Afghan US troop withdrawal". BBC. 3 May 2021. Archived from the original on 3 May 2021. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  186. ^ Singman, Brooke (20 May 2021). "Former President George W. Bush 'deeply concerned' Afghanistan troop withdrawal will 'create a vacuum'". Fox News.
  187. ^ Sonmez, Felicia. "George W. Bush says ending U.S. military mission in Afghanistan is a mistake." Washington Post (July 14, 2021). Archived from the original.
  188. ^ Creitz, Charles. "Trump: Biden's Afghan crisis 'the dumbest move ever made in US history'". Fox News. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  189. ^ "The myth that Afghanistan was a 'forever' war - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com.
  190. ^ Sprunt, Barbara (17 August 2021). "There's A Bipartisan Backlash To How Biden Handled The Withdrawal From Afghanistan". NPR. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  191. ^ Keilar, Brianna (15 October 2020). "Leon Panetta defends bin Laden raid after Trump ignites conspiracy". CNN. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  192. ^ Mastrangelo, Dominick (16 August 2021). "Leon Panetta compares fall of Afghanistan to Bay of Pigs". The Hill. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  193. ^ Blake, Aaron (17 August 2021). "Democrats offer some harsh reviews of Biden on Afghanistan". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  194. ^ Carney, Jordain (18 August 2021). "Biden finds few Capitol Hill allies amid Afghanistan backlash". The Hill. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  195. ^ Kolinovsky, Sarah (18 August 2021). "Biden says he did not see a way to withdraw from Afghanistan without 'chaos ensuing'". ABC News. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  196. ^ Faulconer, Rebecca (24 August 2021). "Former Trump Pentagon chief says U.S. troop withdrawal date was never fixed". Axios. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  197. ^ Strauss, Daniel (20 August 2021). ""Move heaven and earth" pressure on Biden to speed up visas for Afghans who helped US". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  198. ^ Collinson, Stephen (16 August 2021). "Joe Biden's botched Afghanistan exit is a disaster at home and abroad long in the making". CNN. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  199. ^ Roberts, Williams (20 August 2021). "As US "abandons" Afghans, military veterans feel anger, confusion". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  200. ^ Carney, Jordan (18 August 2021). "Biden finds few Capitol Hill allies amid Afghanistan backlash". The Hill. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  201. ^ Page, Susan; Brown, Matthew; Quarshie, Mabinty (24 August 2021). "Exclusive: Americans' harsh judgment on Afghanistan costs Biden's approval, down to 41%". USA Today.
  202. ^ "Haley, Blackburn, other Republicans call for Biden's resignation or impeachment after attack at Kabul airport". Fox News. 26 August 2021.
  203. ^ Lutz, Eric (16 August 2021). "Joe Biden's Disastrous Afghanistan Exit is in Keeping with American Tradition". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  204. ^ Allegretti, Aubrey; Elgot, Jessica; Walker, Peter; Weaver, Matthew (19 August 2021). "Dominic Raab 'refused to be contacted' in days before Afghanistan fell". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 August 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  205. ^ Levy, Rachael (17 August 2021). "Neo-Nazis, White Nationalists Celebrate Taliban Takeover". Wall Street Journal.
  206. ^ "America's Far-Right Extremists Are Drawing Inspiration From The Taliban's Victory In Afghanistan". BuzzFeed News.
  207. ^ Sands, Geneva (1 September 2021). "White supremacist praise of the Taliban takeover concerns US officials". CNN.
  208. ^ Paul LeBlanc, Oren Liebermann and Brian Rokus. "US Marine officer relieved of command after criticizing military leaders about Afghanistan withdrawal". CNN.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  209. ^ "A Marine officer posted a video calling out senior leaders in Afghanistan. He was relieved of command". The Washington Post.
  210. ^ "US Marines officer relieved of duties after video seeking 'accountability' over Afghanistan". TheGuardian.com. 27 August 2021.
  211. ^ a b Brook Endale and Calvin Shomaker (5 October 2021). "Marine from Anderson Township who criticized Afghan withdrawal released from military prison". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  212. ^ "Outspoken Marine officer who went viral blasting military leaders over Afghanistan is jailed: Report". Fox News. 27 September 2021.
  213. ^ "Marine Officer Scheller Freed from Brig as Legal Struggles Continue over Viral Videos". 5 October 2021.
  214. ^ Marine gets letter of reprimand, docked $5,000 in pay for posting critical videos
  215. ^ Afghan Air Force pilots trapped in Afghanistan plead for evacuation
  216. ^ Akhgar, Tameer (21 May 2021). "Australia closes its embassy in Kabul, others scale back". The Associate Press. Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  217. ^ "Echoes of 1989 as foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan". BBC News. 6 July 2021. Archived from the original on 8 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  218. ^ Follorou, Jacques (14 May 2021). "Paris accorde le droit d'asile aux Afghans qui ont travaillé pour la France". Le Monde.fr (in French). Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  219. ^ Zheng, Sarah (21 June 2021). "China tells its nationals to leave Afghanistan urgently as violence spirals". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 7 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  220. ^ Khaliq, Riyaz ul (8 July 2021). "China evacuates more than 200 citizens from Afghanistan". Anadolu Agency. Archived from the original on 8 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  221. ^ Crawford, Alex; Sheppard, Kevin (6 July 2021). "Afghanistan: 'End this failed mission' says former Afghan president Hamid Karzai as he blames US and its allies for rise in terrorism". Sky News. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  222. ^ "Afghanistan's Ghani blames 'abrupt' US withdrawal for worsening security". France24. 2 August 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  223. ^ Basu, Nayanima (16 April 2021). "US withdrawal from Afghanistan welcome, foreign forces can't bring peace in this region: Iran". The Print. Archived from the original on 16 April 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  224. ^ Hui, Sylvia (8 July 2021). "Johnson confirms most British troops have left Afghanistan". Associated Press. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  225. ^ "UK struggles for influence as Afghan crisis strains US ties". Associated Press. 23 August 2021.
  226. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (22 August 2021). "Nosedive in UK-US relations is another casualty of Afghanistan's fall". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  227. ^ "U.S. and German relations at a crossroads as Afghanistan crisis unfolds". CNBC. 24 August 2021.
  228. ^ Karnitschnig, Matthew (17 August 2021). "Disbelief and betrayal: Europe reacts to Biden's Afghanistan 'miscalculation'". Politico.
  229. ^ "Tony Blair: Afghanistan withdrawal is 'tragic, dangerous, and unnecessary'". Euronews. 22 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  230. ^ Pylas, Pan (22 August 2021). "Imbecilic': Ex-UK leader Tony Blair slams Afghan withdrawal". Associated Press. Retrieved 22 August 2021.