Afghanistan: the end of 20 years of presence for American troops

A quick victory and, 20 years later, a debacle. This August 31, the United States must withdraw its last troops present in Afghanistan, that is to say almost two decades after October 7, 2001, date of the beginning of the war.

At this precise moment, the American government has only one idea in mind: to find those responsible for the September 11 attacks. The main objective is therefore to capture or kill Osama bin Laden and destroy al-Qaida, sheltered in the country ruled since 1996 by the Taliban.

In a few months, the armed group was defeated and driven from power. Elections are then put in place to elect a president by direct universal suffrage, and the United States maintains security. However, the hunt for Osama bin Laden is progressing slowly, and the United States is increasing wars, especially in Iraq from 2003.

To avoid a comeback by the Taliban, military reinforcements are regularly sent, whether by George W. Bush or his successor Barack Obama. On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden was shot dead in Pakistan, which theoretically ended the American presence in Afghanistan. It was a promise from Barack Obama.

A feeling of waste

But the Democrat finally changes his mind, especially on the advice of the General Staff. In fact, senior officials feared that an American departure would leave a void that would eventually be filled by the Taliban and terrorist groups. Far from ending the war, he left the White House with several thousand soldiers still deployed.

It is ultimately Donald Trump who ratifies the American departure with the Doha agreement signed in 2020. In this way, the United States undertakes to leave Afghanistan, without any real compensation. Coming to power a few months later, Joe Biden confirms the Republican’s decision. Commitments that led to the flash defeat of the Afghan forces against the Taliban, and the latter’s seizure of power in the heart of August.

If the American president assures today that the military objectives have been fulfilled, a feeling of failure and waste seems to dominate the international community when leaving the country. In the coming days, the Taliban are expected to announce a government and get busy running the country. A situation far removed from the democracy hoped for by the United States during all these years.

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