Last remaining British troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan
Afghanistan conflict ends with the fight not over
This weekend, the United Kingdom is expected to bring home remaining troops stationed in Afghanistan. This will bring an end to a twenty-year conflict that initially started as a response to the 9/11 terror attacks.
Regardless of your position on troop deployment in Afghanistan, this is a monumental day.
The conflict in Afghanistan has witnessed horrendous casualties across its two-decade campaign. It is believed that around 50,000 civilians have died, 2,300 US soldiers and just under 500 British troops.
1/ So basically we’re leaving Afghanistan after 20 years and the Taliban is now on its way to Kabul. Which means we wasted $2T and 2400 American lives for….nothing. The situation is not appreciably any better than it was when we went there.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) July 3, 2021
750 soldiers currently at a NATO training mission are due to leave today and return home to the UK. In April, President Joe Biden pledged to end the US' longest war, and the UK followed suit. However, roughly 650 US troops will remain to protect the embassy.
Though both nations will pull out of the country in an official capacity, there will still be a military presence to combat the rising Taliban conflict.
The Guardian reports that this presence could be manifest in a number of ways. This could be a SAS presence to aid Afghan forces in the fight against the Taliban or drones and air support similar to what the US is already providing. Official meetings are due to happen this week when the security council will outline their plan of support.
— Mansoor Panhwar (@mk_panhwar) July 3, 2021
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said the following:
"The UK is involved in ongoing discussions with US and international allies regarding the future of our support to Afghanistan," they added.
Though the future of the region is yet undetermined, one thing is for certain, the Taliban are still very much present throughout the majority of the country.