US Military Troops Leave Afghanistan: End of Longest American War
It was a startling picture – one lone military soldier walking across the Kabul airport, stone-faced, carrying his firearm, getting ready to climb aboard an aircraft taking away the final US soldier from Afghanistan. Major General Chris Donahue was aboard the last flight carrying US forces out of the country, the scene of America’s longest war – 20 years of conflict with the Taliban forces. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Any engagement with a Taliban-led government in Kabul will be driven by one thing only – our vital national interests. If the U.S. can work with a new Afghan government in any way that helps protect American interests, we will do it. But we will not do it based on trust or faith.”
Operation Enduring Freedom was launched soon after the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. The object was to find and destroy its perpetrators, primarily Osama bin Laden and the Islamic extremist group he led where the Taliban gave him a safe place to hide. After the last American soldier was gone, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid boasted, “The world should have learned their lesson, and this is the enjoyable moment of victory.” The 20-year war left nearly 2,500 American troops dead and Afghan dead. The war spanned four presidencies.
Getting US troops out of the country has been a massive undertaking. Since Monday, 30 August, more than 122,000 people have been airlifted from Hamid Karzai International Airport. In addition to troop withdrawals, more than 6,000 US civilians have been evacuated. There were no US citizens on the last five flights leaving. Along with its military exit, the US is pulling out all diplomatic representatives. The UN Security Council approved a resolution creating a “safe passage” zone for people seeking to leave the Kabul airport after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Hopefully, the Taliban will secure safe passage for Afghans and foreign nationals who wish to leave the country.
Taliban leaders want international legitimacy. They have made three key promises: to not engage in revenge attacks, not to allow Afghanistan to become a haven for terrorists, and to uphold the rights of women and minorities within the framework of Sharia law. The last part of that promise, “within the framework of Sharia law,” is totally opposite to the Western understanding of human rights and freedoms.
- The Taliban to feel the pressure of the international community which is closely watching to see if they can keep the promises they have made concerning revenge, harboring terrorists, and upholding women’s rights (The Bible, Leviticus 19:11).
- Afghanistan women who have been told to “stay home.” Very few have been spotted on the streets. And those who are on streets are heavily covered with the burka (The Bible, Esther 8:11).