Most European soldiers leave Afghanistan unobtrusively


Most European troops have already pulled out of Afghanistan, quietly withdrawing months before the US-led mission was officially expected to finish a part of an anticlimactic on the brink of the forever war that risks leaving the country on the brink of war.

Germany and Italy declared their missions in Afghanistan over on Wednesday and Poland’s last troops returned home, bringing their deployments to a low-key end nearly 20 years after the primary Western soldiers were deployed there.

Announcements from several countries analyzed to show that a majority of European troops has now left with the little ceremony a stark contrast to the dramatic and public show of force and unity when Nato allies lined up to back the US invasion to rid the country of Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In the ensuing decades, the war went from one mission to a different one. Former US President George W. Bush’s administration shied far away from nation-building and therefore the United Nations advocated a lightweight footprint. But with the passing years, Nato and US troops took on greater roles developing Afghanistan’s National Security and Defence Forces and training police. At the war’s peak, the US and Nato military numbers surpassed 150,000.

Nato agreed in April to withdraw its roughly 7,000 non-American forces from Afghanistan to match US President Joe Biden’s decision to tug all American troops from the country, starting May Day.

Biden set a Sept 11 deadline for the withdrawal of folks troops. But more recently, American officials have said that pullout would presumably be completed by Independence Day and lots of allies have moved to conclude their own presence by then also.

Nato declined to offer an update Wednesday on what percentage of nations still have troops in its Resolute Support mission. But an analysis of 19 governments’ own announcements shows that quite 4,800 of the non-American forces have left.

The US has refused to offer troop figures, but when Biden announced the ultimate pullout, between 2,500 and 3,500 troops were deployed. The US has also refused to offer a transparent date for his or her final withdrawal.

As of February, a complete of some 832,000 American troops had served in Afghanistan. About 25,100 Defence Department civilians had also served there.

Germany publicly announced the top of its nearly 20-year deployment during a statement and a series of tweets from the defense minister late on Tuesday evening, shortly after the last plane carrying its troops had left Afghan airspace.

Three transport aircraft landed at the Wunstorf air station in northern Germany on Wednesday afternoon. The troops, wearing masks, lined abreast of the tarmac for a quick ceremony, but the military dispensed with a much bigger reception due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We have worked long and hard to face here today, said Brig Gen Ansgar Meyer, the last commander of the German contingent. As your commander, I can say for you: Mission accomplished. you’ve got fulfilled your task.

But the highest American general in Afghanistan gave a sobering assessment on Tuesday, warning about the recent rapid loss of districts to the Taliban and cautioning that the country could descend into war.

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