(USMilitary.com For NavySeal.com) In a move that was announced early 2020, the U.S. military made its final exit from Afghanistan. By the end of August of 2021, the final American troops had left the country.
The exit plan was first put into place via the Doha Agreement, also known as the Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan. It outlined withdrawal of U.S. troops, and peaceful activities by the Taliban.
The agreement was approved by the U.S. and the Taliban, as well as China, Russia, Pakistan, India, and the UN Security Council; the Afghanistan Government was not involved in the pact.
In months to come, peaceful promises were not kept, yet the U.S. held itself to exiting the country by the end of August. In a seemingly botched attempt, all dates were made public. Equipment was left behind, albeit mostly destroyed. Soldiers were removed in a mass exodus, and citizens – Americans and Afghans alike – were put onto planes in haphazard manner, according to various news sources. If there was a plan for efficiently, it was not carried out.
The mission to exit was further complicated by attacks that killed U.S. soldiers and Afghan citizens alike. The attacks were claimed by ISIS-K and were not condoned by the Taliban.
Americans Left Behind
“No one left behind” is one of the most concrete unwritten rules among soldiers – to say the least. But yet the U.S. government did just that. Hundreds of U.S. citizens were left in Afghanistan, with no military force as protection.
Even higher numbers are green card holders, such as contractors who worked with American companies. Part of their allegiance as employees was to obtain safety at the end of their tenure. Obviously, it wasn’t provided for all. Others chose to stay to remain near family members who are Afghan citizens.
In weeks prior to the exit, 6,000 American citizens and approximately 124,000 Afghanistan citizens were flown out of the country. While around 200 American citizens remained in country, and an unknown amount of U.S. green card holders.
Various reports say many of these people have been loaded onto place that may or may not be held up by the Taliban. Issues are stated as passengers who do not have paperwork that allows them to leave the country.
The biggest hurdle of all, however, is the lack of safety for those in Afghanistan. The Taliban is inflicting laws that haven’t been seen in the country for most of the past two decades. What does that mean for Americans who still remain within its borders? And who’s to blame?
What Does the Future Hold?
Now, on the other side of a disastrous exit from war, politicians are pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Should we have stuck to our end of the deal when the Taliban did not? Should we have announced plans? Or removed soldiers before citizens? Of course hindsight is 20/20; even the highest military officials say that we will learn from this exit for years. But that still doesn’t answer the question as to why it all happened in the first place. Was it an ill-planned flop? Some type of conspiracy? Or something else altogether. And considering the lack of planning for green card holders’ ability to register with the Embassy before it closed – is there a plan to account for them? And bring them to the U.S.? Only time will tell.
Stay tuned for future updates.