The Afghanistan Debacle
- We went there back in 2001 after 9-11 because that is where Usama Bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda was spending most of his time training terrorists.
- We wanted to capture or kill Bin Laden
- We wanted to deny Al Qaeda the use of Afghanistan as a base of operations.
- We deposed the Taliban
- US and Coalition forces supported a newly created Afghan government
- President Trump promised to pull our troops out of Afghanistan
- Troop presence was reduced to approximately 2500 US servicemen, plus several thousand of our NATO allies.
- The original plan was to leave by May 1, 2021, before the fighting season began (roughly May-October)
- When President Biden was elected, he changed to target date to depart to Sep 11th for the symbolism of it.
- The new date became August 31st at the height of the fighting season, when Taliban fighter strength would be at its max.
- On July 1, 2021, the US abandoned Bagram Airbase, the major airbase in Afghanistan (a move later to prove foolish)
- Further reference: Why did the United States Abandon Bagram Airfield? National Review, 8/18/21
- Soon after we abandoned Bagram, the Taliban started a major push to retake the country.
- By Aug 14th, the Taliban had taken over the country, precipitating a crisis of Americans, Afghan allies, and others struggling to flee the country from the airport in Kabul, where the last vestige of US and allied forces remain
- The Taliban have warned those fleeing the country to be out by the Aug 31st deadline.
- There are thousands of Americans currently stuck in Afghanistan.
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