The vast majority of NATO troops have already left the Asian country

US withdraws from Bagram, a symbol of the invasion of Afghanistan

PHOTO/AFP - US soldiers train at Bagram base, 70 kilometres north of Kabul, Afghanistan

The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is being completed even earlier than expected. Last April, US President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of US soldiers from Afghanistan after 20 years of military presence in the country. The deadline set by Biden for completing the withdrawal of American troops was set for 11 September, a day full of symbolism as it would be the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers which triggered the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Bagram airfield, located 70 km north of Kabul, is a symbol of the US invasion of Afghanistan. This complex, which eventually became a small town for US soldiers with everything from sports facilities to shops, has seen more than 100,000 US troops pass through. Bagram became the centre of military power in Afghanistan, as well as the epicentre of the war to drive out the Taliban and track down the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


According to the Associated Press (AP), after 20 years the US Army has abandoned Bagram airfield and handed it over to the Afghan National Defense and Security Force. This announcement shows that the withdrawal of the last 2,500 to 3,500 US troops remaining in Afghanistan is nearing completion months ahead of the Biden Administration's planned date. According to the AP, the top US commander in Afghanistan, General Austin S. Miller, "continues to retain all capabilities and authorities to protect forces".

The vast majority of NATO troops have already withdrawn from Afghanistan in the wake of the US. The low-key withdrawal of European troops as well as the US military contrasts with the resounding show of strength and unity that was evident during the 2001 invasion when NATO allies lined up behind the United States. The US has declined to disclose when the last US troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan but has said that approximately 650 US troops will remain in the country to protect the American embassy in Kabul.


Bagram symbolises the definitive departure of the United States after 20 years of invasion at a time of vital importance for the Asian country where the Taliban are carrying out different offensives throughout the country, increasing their influence. Faced with this power gap and the rapid Taliban advance, the government has appealed to various militias with a history of brutal violence to help the Afghan army, including the mujahideen. Afghanistan is facing a new scenario of civil war, as US General Miller warned.

Despite the increase in violence in Afghanistan and the imminent outbreak of a new conflict, Washington has reiterated its intention to withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan, although there are still a number of issues to iron out, such as the management and protection of Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport. Negotiations between the United States and Turkey continue, with the Eurasian country offering in May to protect Kabul airport after the withdrawal of NATO troops. While negotiations between Turkey, the Afghan government and the United States over Kabul International Airport are being finalised, the airport will continue to be guarded by both Turkish and US soldiers under the NATO mission.