America Begins Final Withdrawal of Troops from Afghanistan After Two Decades of Fighting


Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea/Army

American soldiers operating in Afghanistan.

Jack Kelleher, Contributing Writer

American troops have begun their final preparations to leave Afghanistan. The Biden Administration announced that the remaining 2,500 US soldiers are to start returning home May 1, with the process being completed by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The withdrawal is in line with previous deals between the Trump administration and the Taliban about bringing peace to Afghanistan as well as removing all foreign troops.

The US invaded Afghanistan after 9/11, as the Taliban were harboring Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda members in their country. Since then, the zealous Taliban has been disposed of and replaced with a moderate, and more secular democratic government, backed by US and international forces. The Taliban has evolved into a terrorist organization of guerilla fighters in the countryside, fighting to bring Islamic law to all Afghanistan. Since the US invaded, there have been over 2,500 American deaths, in a 20 year war, the longest in American history. 

The war in Afghanistan, part of the larger War on Terror, has not been popular in recent years as it seems to drag on and on as the US struggles to help the relatively new and fragile Afghan democracy afloat. Sophomore Bobby Pierce agrees that the war has dragged on too long, saying, “[The government] should have pulled them out a long time ago.” The war continued on for 10 more years even after the death of Osama Bin Laden, whose capture was the original goal of the war. 

As of now, supplies have begun to be shipped out of the country and contracts with local supplies for the army bases have begun to end. Troops will slowly leave until all of the large bases are shut down, when all of the remaining 2,500 will have made it back home.

The end of the war Afghanistan marks the end of one of the most prominent conflicts in a war-torn and fractured Middle East. In an era in which governments have risen and fallen, whether it be by external intervention or internal struggle, no one can deny that the US has been enlarged for years and has not been able to leave. Sophomore Ben Rakauskas says, “I agree with Biden, the conflict caused the death of innocent people, and it really isn’t our fight.”