After almost 20 years, the United States military left the Bagram Air Base, a place that has served as their stronghold since they first came to Afghanistan following 9/11. Although this doesn’t mark the end of American presence in Afghanistan, it is undoubtedly a major milestone.
Much to the approval of NATO leaders, the Biden administration decided to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. However, as the withdrawal gained momentum, it is now clear that everything will be over way sooner.
The remaining troops have loaded around 900 loads of valuable equipment on cargo airplanes that will bring it back to the US. As a part of the process, over 16,000 pieces of equipment were destroyed.
Over the years, Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump visited the Bagram Air Base as a strategic move in navigating the American presence in the country. More than 2,000 US soldiers killed in combat were taken back to the US from this base — it was an American gate to and from Afghanistan.
Last week, the Afghan Ministry of Defense issued a statement announcing that the Air Base was officially handed back to the military of Afghanistan. The number of US soldiers in the country dropped from 100,000 in 2011 to some 2,500 in 2021, and the remaining number is expected to leave by September.