After 20 years, the American and British forces have decided to roll back their troops from Afghanistan after the conflict. What was the reason for all of this? Was it worth everything it cost in terms of money, but more importantly, life?
President Biden announced that the remaining 2500-3000 US troops in service would leave the country by September 11th, with the UK following suit as they remove 750 servicemen and women.
The date is of utmost significance as it signifies the horror of September 11th, 2001, the day Al-Qaeda executed the horrendous attack. Exactly 20 years later, we are seeing the page turn over.
The cost of 20 years of this military engagement has been over 2300 lives on the American side, with more than 20,000 injured, along with hundreds of lives of other nationalities and a staggering amount of money close to $2 trillion.
Actions In Afghanistan
Afghans themselves have had the most casualties during this war. Estimated numbers suggest at least 60,000 security forces personnel and almost double the number of civilians lost their lives.
According to security sources, since the presence of Western troops in Afghanistan, there has not been a single successful terrorist attack planned from Afghanistan.
Although this might be a win for the Western military, their alliance with The Northern Alliance (an anti-Taliban force of Afghans), along with the British did not finish off the Taliban supremacy and end Al-Qaeda, it merely shifted their base of operations to Pakistan.
India might have hit the brunt of it during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and since then the BSF has been on high alert along with RAW agents and the other counter-terrorism bodies in India.
Some Highlights To Look Back
Due to this “War On Terror”, there were several things to look back on. Starting off was Operation Neptune Spear, which killed the most wanted terrorist and leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden on May 1st, 2011.
The United States dropped a GBU-43 bomb, nicknamed, “the mother of all bombs”, in eastern Afghanistan, which targeted Islamic State militants in the region.
In 2019, President Trump invited India to play a greater role in restoring peace in Afghanistan and condemning Pakistan for harboring Taliban Forces.
In 2020, The US and Taliban signed an agreement leading to the withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan. With a ceasefire not in place, the Taliban launched a series of attacks on Afghan security forces in the following days, which was retaliated by the US launching an airstrike against the Taliban forces stationed in the Helmand province.
Lastly, in a poetic manner, President Biden announced that the US would not meet the May 1 deadline according to the US-Taliban Agreement to withdraw troops, but rather September 11 as it laid down an exact 20-year-old saga to rest for now.
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