Thursday, August 5, 2021

US military leaves Afghanistan’s Bagram air base after nearly 20 years

After nearly 20 years, the US military has left Bagram airfield, the epicentre of its war to oust the Taliban and track down the al-Qaida perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The agreement with the Taliban on the American pull-out was struck under the administration of President Donald Trump.

The airfield was handed over to the Afghan National Security and Defense Force in its entirety. An Afghan official said the base would be officially handed over to the government at a ceremony tomorrow. A US defence official said General Austin Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan still retains all the capabilities and authorities to protect the force that are stationed in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Last month, US President Joe Biden told his Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani, that Afghans are going to have to decide their future, what they want. Ghani said his job was now to manage the consequences of the US withdrawal.

In exchange for the U.S. withdrawal, the Taliban have vowed to prevent any international terrorism from Afghan soil. They have also made a commitment to enter into talks with their Afghan rivals but little progress has been made in negotiations.

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