America’s longest war ends after 20 years

The war left thousands of U.S. service members, and civilians, dead.

U.S. troops at Kabul’s airport, before the mass withdraw. (Reuters)

TOLEDO, Ohio — Monday, America’s longest war came to an end after 20 years. The final U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, after 20 years of keeping the Taliban at bay, allowing Afghans to benefit from new freedoms. Now, the surviving troops, which initially came to fight terrorism following 9/11, are coming home.

General Kenneth McKenzie says now that the military phase of the U.S. operation has ended, the diplomatic sequel begins, as the country mourns the lost of 13 U.S. service members at the hands of suicide bombers outisde Kabul’s airport.

McKenzie stresses that there will still be opportunities for Americans that have not been able to escape to do so, and the same applies to Afghans who have helped the U.S. throughout the 2 decade war.

“It’s a mission that brought Osama Bin Laden to a just end, along with many of his Al Qaeda co-conspirators. And it was not a cheap mission. The cost was 2,461 U.S. service members and civilians killed. And more 20,000 who were injured. Sadly, that includes 13 U.S. service members who were killed last week by an ISIS-K suicide bomber,” McKenzie said.

The general adds that America will still engage and be active in Afghanistan, as so much progress has been made over the years, including the advancement of women in the country.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the U.S. is actively contacting Americans that remain in the country, even going as far as to suggest journalists send the contact info of the Americans they’ve been in contact with.

Across the country, there are mixed feelings regarding the pullout, with some saying the U.S. should have stayed longer, while others say it was time. Regardless of your thoughts on the pullout, the lives of many Afghans may be in jeopardy.

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