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Afghan National Army keeps watch after U.S. forces left Bagram Airfield. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

More than 90% of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan has been completed, U.S. Central Command estimated in an update published Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone, a full two months before President Biden's goal of withdrawing all U.S. forces by Sept. 11, comes amid concerns about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, as the Taliban seizes vast swathes of territory on the battlefield.

State of play: The last remaining U.S. forces are expected to exit the country by the end of August, AP reports.

  • The U.S. has officially handed over seven facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, according to the update.
  • Last week, U.S. forces left Bagram Airfield at night without notifying the base's new Afghan commander. The departure came after nearly 20 years of using the facility as the center of its war to oust the Taliban and search for the al-Qaeda perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Worth noting: CENTCOM said it would no longer be updating specific percentage updates of its withdrawal, citing security concerns.

Go deeper: Biden cuts off questions about Afghanistan amid growing Taliban concerns

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - World

Afghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 safely leaves Afghanistan

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at the White House residence. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

An Afghan interpreter who helped rescue President Biden in Afghanistan in 2008 when he was a senator has safely left the country with his wife and five children, the State Department confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Aman Khalili, who was instrumental to the mission that rescued Biden's helicopter when it was caught in a snowstorm according to U.S. veterans, was forced into hiding after the Taliban took over Kabul.

Updated 3 mins ago - Economy & Business

World Bank: Gap between rich and poor countries is widening

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For the last two decades, incomes in poorer countries were catching up to rich countries. The pandemic economy of the 2020s may reverse the trend, the World Bank warns in a new report.

Why it matters: Falling inequality between countries has been one of the most positive trends of the 21st century. If it reverses, it implies more human suffering and geopolitical instability.

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker