Afghanistan - the end of one war, the start of another?

The US troop pullout after 20 years will leave behind a fragile government and a trail of broken, unrealistic promises

While it is fashionable today to raise doubts about the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the fact remains that two decades ago, few world leaders entertained any doubts about the necessity of the war - the Taleban had transformed Afghanistan into a br
While it is fashionable today to raise doubts about the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the fact remains that two decades ago, few world leaders entertained any doubts about the necessity of the war - the Taleban had transformed Afghanistan into a breeding ground for all manner of global terrorist organisations, with a malignant effect worldwide. PHOTO: REUTERS
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The appeal to history was deliberate: United States President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of his country's troops from Afghanistan in the same White House room in which then President George W. Bush announced the start of the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

So was Mr Biden's choice of the final date by which all US soldiers must be out of the country: Sept 11, which this year marks exactly two decades since Al-Qaeda launched four coordinated terrorist attacks on the US that left more than 2,900 people dead.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2021, with the headline Afghanistan - the end of one war, the start of another?. Subscribe