Why Did the US Leave Afghanistan? What Were the Driving Forces?

Why Did the US Leave Afghanistan? The Biden administration made a smart strategic decision by removing all American forces from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, which required a great deal of political guts.

The administration made the right assessment when it said that continuing American military involvement in Afghanistan has become a strategic liability and a pointless investment that will never be able to change the fundamental military and political dynamics of the country.

Why Did the US Leave Afghanistan?

Declaring that the United States had long since fulfilled its mission of preventing terrorists from finding refuge in Afghanistan, President Biden declared in mid-April that all American troops would withdraw from the nation by September 11.

Later on, he changed the date to August 31.

The US military has left Afghanistan’s Bagram airbase, the center of its war to drive out the Taliban and find the al-Qaeda members responsible for the 9/11 attacks, after almost 20 years, according to two US officials.

Under condition of obscurity, they stated on Friday that the airbase was fully turned over to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

The reason for this was that they were not authorized to provide the information to the media, as reported by The Associated Press.

Additionally, according to one of the officials, General Austin S. Miller, the US supreme commander in Afghanistan, “still retains all the capabilities and authorities to protect the forces.”

According to an Afghan official, a ceremony will be held on Saturday to formally transfer the base to the government, as reported by the Reuters news agency.

The airbase’s evacuation is the most convincing proof that the final 2,500–3,500 US soldiers have either left Afghanistan or are almost ready to leave.

This was months before President Joe Biden’s announcement that they would depart by September 11.

At the White House in Washington, DC, Biden informed reporters that he expected Afghanistan’s military and government leaders to handle the growing number of Taliban attacks following 20 years of US support.

Were the Invasion’s Goals Fulfilled?

Most of those initial objectives were mostly achieved by the United States and its NATO allies.

Al Qaeda’s capacity to organize, fund, and carry out significant international terrorist operations was significantly reduced.

Its training camps in Afghanistan were destroyed, and many of its leaders were assassinated or captured (though some, like Osama bin Laden, were able to escape at least initially).

After the Taliban were driven from office by American and NATO forces, Hamid Karzai’s new administration was put in place following a period of transition.

In Afghanistan, women and girls have returned to public life, including the classroom.

McKenzie formed a new organization, US Forces-Afghanistan Forward, to provide continuous support for Afghanistan.

The organization was to be headquartered in Kabul and receive assistance from CENTCOM’s forward headquarters in Qatar.[17] US Forces-Afghanistan Forward was centered on:

  • safeguard US diplomatic representation in Afghanistan
  • allow the international airport in Kabul to run safely (the US was negotiating with the Turkish Government on this matter)
  • maintain giving the ANDSF “appropriate advice and assistance” and
  • assist US-led efforts to combat terrorism.

Final Thoughts

It is to the credit of the Biden administration that, despite the dishonorable exit, they possessed the common sense to liquidate foolish commitments and reallocate resources to more pressing priorities.