15 days after the Taliban entered Kabul, the last American officer left
A year ago today, the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban swept into the Afghan capital of Kabul following the collapse of the country’s elected government. The last member of the U.S. military left 15 days later, capping almost 20 tumultuous years of American involvement in the central Asian country.
It started after the Taliban harbored al Qaeda and its leader Usama bin Laden – the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The withdrawal, meanwhile, fulfilled President Biden’s announcement in April last year that all American forces and personnel would leave Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Having recaptured territories throughout Afghanistan, the Taliban’s re-taking of Kabul was rapid and, according to many observers, not surprising.
“It was entirely predictable that the Taliban would take control of the country after the U.S. withdrew, despite claims from U.S. officials to the contrary,” Bill Roggio, an Afghanistan expert and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Fox News Digital. “I stated publicly in the spring that the Afghan government would be lucky to make it past the summer. I studied the Taliban’s pattern of military operations and how it exploited the Afghan government and military’s weaknesses. Without U.S. support, collapse was inevitable.”
Roggio, editor of the acclaimed Long War Journal, recently published maps showing just how quickly the Taliban moved in and took over the country following Biden’s announcement.
“I believe that the U.S. could have withdrawn from Afghanistan and left a viable Afghan government behind, even if it wasn’t able to have governed the entire country.” Roggio added. “The withdrawal, as executed by the Biden administration, completely pulled the rug out from the Afghan government and military.”
By Ben Evansky