US announces end of 20-year mission in Afghanistan

The United States’ evacuation mission in Afghanistan has come to an end, leaving behind Americans and thousands of Afghan allies as the U.S. declared the end of the 20-year war not long after the clock struck midnight in Kabul.

The last C-17 departed from Hamid Karzai International airport on Monday, said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, meeting U.S. President Joe Biden’s August 31 deadline.

“Tonight’s withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation but also the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001,” McKenzie said.

“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 than 20,000 who were injured.”

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