Apr 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

U.S. military starts Afghanistan withdrawal

U.S. troops near Bagram, Afghanistan in 2014
U.S. troops near Bagram, Afghanistan in 2014. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Image

The American military has begun its withdrawal from Afghanistan, Gen. Austin Miller, the head of the U.S.-led coalition there, said at a press conference Sunday, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Miller's statement comes about two weeks after President Joe Biden formally announced that the U.S. would execute a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and effectively "end America’s longest war."

What they're saying: “I now have a set of orders," said Miller.

  • "We will conduct an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan, and that means transitioning bases and equipment to the Afghan security forces.”

What's more: In addition to the 3,500 U.S. troops that will leave the country by mid-September, many of the 7,000 NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan will also withdraw, according to the Times.

  • Many private contractors operating in Afghanistan will leave as well, though Miller noted that some contracts will be adjusted to continue support for the Afghan security forces.

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