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The U.S. Combat mission in Afghanistan has been America"s longest war. After two decades and the loss of 10s of countless lives, numerous may view its tradition as nothing an ext than a foreign policy embarrassment.

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The U.S. An initial entered the problem under then-president George W. Bush in 2001, simply weeks ~ the Al-Qaeda September 11 strikes that motivated the "War ~ above Terror".

Almost 20 years and several administrations later, the score to pacify Afghanistan and also build a democratic and civil culture is still not in sight. ~ above Sunday, respectable 15, militants poured right into the capital, Kabul, as President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and the government successfully collapsed. Taliban rule, the seems, is back.


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U.S. Marines through the second Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT second Battalion 8 hours Marines Echo Co. Step off in the early on morning during an operation to push out Taliban battle aircraft on July 18, 2009 in Herati, Afghanistan.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesSince the begin of U.S. Army operations through to April this year, 2,448 American service members have actually been eliminated in Afghanistan, according to data from Linda Bilmes the Harvard University"s Kennedy School and also the Brown University expenses of war project, as reported by the connected Press. Secondary 3,846 U.S. Contractors also lost your lives.

The U.S. Department of Defense Casualty standing report documents - as of respectable 9 this year - a similar number of deaths amongst American service members in ~ 2,218, however only includes casualties that occurred in Afghanistan between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2014.

Because between 2003 and 2011 the joined States dealt with the Afghanistan and Iraq wars simultaneously, and many American troops served tours in both wars, some numbers as noted by AP cover both post-9/11 U.S. Wars.

More than 20,000 soldiers were wounded native the conflict, numerous of whom currently live with permanent disabilities, according to the U.S. Room of Defense Casualty condition report.

These numbers of course pale in comparison come the 66,000 Afghan national military lives shed or the 47,245 Afghan civilians. A further 51,191 Taliban and other opposition fighters were likewise reported to have been killed.

The decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was first made under the administration of previous President Donald Trump. However, the withdrawal to be initiated under Biden. In April, president Biden bespeak a full withdrawal through September 11—the 20th anniversary that the Al-Qaeda assaults on the U.S. In July, Biden update the deadline for withdrawal that America"s 3,000 or therefore troops to respectable 31.

Amid this politics backdrop and also over the room of a week, the Taliban make swift and also calculated gains across the country, securing the resources city Kabul ~ above Sunday and forcing U.S. Embassy staff to evacuate in a takeover the left U.S. Officials stunned.

Biden is the third U.S. President—along with former President Barack Obama and also former chairman Donald Trump—to stimulate a full withdrawal native Afghanistan.

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In fact, in the same month Biden announced the decision to retract all U.S. Troops, the majority (58 percent) of Americans stated they authorized of the decision according to an Economist survey performed by YouGov.

In current days, the Biden management has search to deal with critics and frame finishing the problem as a decision the Biden made after finish it was an "unwinnable war" and also one the "does not have a army solution."

"How many more, exactly how many more thousands the American daughters and sons are you willing to risk?" Biden stated to those calling because that the United says to expand the army operation. The added, "I will not send one more generation of american to war in Afghanistan, through no reasonable expectation of afford a different outcome."


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A Landing force Support Party made up of 26th naval Expeditionary Unit Marines, head towards an undisclosed location in assistance of procedure Enduring freedom December 3, 2001 inside Afghanistan.David C. Mercil/Getty Images