The US Military withdraws from Afghanistan


Private Pedro Amador

Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment wait for extraction.

On Oct. 7, 2001, the US military began its invasion of Afghanistan in retaliation for the September 11th attacks and 20 years later the end is finally in sight.

Recently, President Joe Biden announced that the military will begin withdrawing from Afghanistan and is scheduled to be finished with the effort on Sept. 11, 2021. Once the evacuation is complete it will mark the end of the longest war the United States has ever fought in its military history.

The military has made attempts to leave since the early 2010s. Although the attempts were never completely effective, they were still able to reduce the military presence in Afghanistan over the years. However, Biden’s decision means that the “troops are coming home” is now the reality of the situation.

For combat veteran Mike Glembocki, Marine Corps veteran who fought in Afghanistan, the withdrawal is difficult to process. “It is hard to wrap my head around because we’ve been there for so long it seems weird that we’re leaving. Maybe kids won’t be so anxious to join now that there are less combat zones they can get sent to,” Glembocki said.

At Homestead, students have mixed emotions.

Ethan Brown, sophomore, said, “It’s great that we’re leaving Afghanistan but at the same time, it shouldn’t have taken almost 20 years and thousands of deaths to do it. We should have left after Bin Laden died and left it to the Afghans to take care of.”

Other students such as Devin Currant, senior, are more indifferent to the situation. Currant plans on enlisting in the US Army after high school. “I’m glad that it’s over but also disappointed that there’s less of a chance I’ll get to actually do anything,” Currant said.

Below is a timeline of the events of US involvement in Afghanistan.

Timeline of US involvement in Afghanistan

Sept. 11,2001 – Terrorists hijack civilian aircraft and crash into the twin towers and pentagon
Oct. 7,2001 – US and UK forces invade Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power, marking the start of the “war on terror”
December 2001 – Taliban forces surrender to the US and cede major cities such as Kandahar, Al Qaeda still remains in mountain cave systems
Oct. 9, 2004 – Afghanistan holds free elections for the first time since the fall of the Taliban
Oct. 29,2004 – Osama Bin Laden releases a video taking responsibility for 9/11 and mocking President Bush
2005 – Taliban fighters resurge in Afghanistan and begin using IEDs and suicide bombers more frequently
2007 – Mullah Dadullah, top military commander of the Taliban is killed
2009 – President Obama increases military presence in Afghanistan
May 1, 2011 – Osama Bin Laden is killed in a raid by SEAL team 6
2013 – NATO shifts focus to training Afghan soldiers to fight
2014 – Obama announces plans for a withdrawal by 2016
April 2017 – The US drops the “MOAB” GBU-43/b on an ISIS cave network
April 2021 – President Biden announces a complete withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, the 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks