All U.S. forces have been removed from Bagram Airfield, the largest military base in Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official told Fox News Thursday.
Bagram Air Base, located just north of Kabul, was the heart of the U.S. operation in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years following the attack on Sept. 11, 2001, by Al Qaeda, which was based in the country.
U.S. officials announced last week that the United States was more than 50 percent finished with packing up the roughly 30-square-mile base.
European troops had largely pulled out months ahead of the U.S. departure from what was a stronghold in the war on terrorism.
Italy and Germany declared their missions in Afghanistan complete Wednesday.
The Bagram Air Base will be taken over by Afghan forces to continue the fight against the Taliban.
The U.S. military is expected to remain involved in Afghanistan until its final departure by September 11 and will help Afghan forces with operations through airstrikes, officials said Thursday.
A contingent of 650 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan indefinitely, based largely at the U.S. embassy for diplomatic security.
Another 300 troops could remain behind through September at Kabul Airport for additional security measures. “
Comment: Well, pilgrim turcopoles, we will now see if the Bidonians are serious about removing our Afghan friends from harms way before the IMO inevitable total collapse or transition of the present Afghan government to a wholly owned subsidiary of the Taliban movement.
When that happens, the new management of the country will kill all those they see as traitors to their version of Islam.
There is a civilian airport. That or Bagram with 300 odd US still there would be the escape route.
US security concerns require vetting of the “friends” but they must not be left in Afghanistan while that happens. A Pacific Ocean territory with a sizable US garrison and infrastructure is an appealing “parking” place for them in the interim. Guam would be good. pl
Wouldn’t Guam tip over? lol
My area isn’t diverse enough, some Afghani restaurants might help.
How long can ~1000 U.S. troops last against a Taliban onslaught?
There is a history of occupying European forces not faring very well there.
Air power can only do so much.
Sounds to me like time for a total exit.
Air power flying from where?
A very good question.
We don’t seem to have many great pals in that part of the world.
Russian news agency Tass reported today that– “The Islamic State terrorist organization is swallowing up territories in Afghanistan amid NATO’s withdrawal from the region…
Foreign Minister Lavrov– “It is important to shine the spotlight on Afghanistan, where IS members are actively concentrating their forces, and they do so, taking advantage of an irredeemably drawn-out process of hammering out real peace negotiations. We are worried about this, because IS is actively acquiring territories – mostly in Northern Afghanistan, right on the borders of countries that are our allies, amid the irresponsible behavior of some officials in Kabul and amid the hasty withdrawal of NATO, who is unable to report the achievement of at least some goals.”
Sounds like the Russians are pretty concerned about the mess they may face on their border after the US leaves. I wonder if this could been avoided if the US had created a government with more popular support??
Perhaps, one of the purposes of the withdrawal is to let the extremists’ mess grow on the border of the Russian friends.
The Russians would eventually get involved and lose a bit. Even China would be involved. Always good to take.
Will the Taliban overflow their borders?
The islamic (and probably a little economic) restoration of order should be quite quick, probably 5 to 10 years. After that, messianism in the form of jihad will be able to keep the thinking heads busy. Will they go north or west?
>”The Russians would eventually get involved and lose a bit.”
I had a very sensible chucle here. Thank you, d74! If “the Russians” will get involved due to trans border threats from the terrorists, that would mean getting a real presence and (even more) presence in the FSU states, bordering Afghanistsn mainly Kyrgizia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. There is already Russian military base in Tajikistan and high level of cooperation. Uzbekistan has an official policy of “no foreign troops on our ground” – meaning, this might change now. As for Kyrgizia… let’s just say, that I don’t think that the current president has much in the way of political prospects, all things considered.
Surely you knew all of these things, d74, before posting a schadenfreude filled comment – it was just irony on your part!
Main focus seems to be on the interpreters. Hope they are also bringing anyone else that worked directly with US troops.
But most of the politicians there seem corrupt. Should we take them or let them get their own visas to elsewhere – Iran? the x-stans? Pakistan?
Colonel, I read that there would be a residual presence of US personnel, deployed both in Afghan Air Force aircraft maintenance and in shoot em’ up contractors, based in Bagram. I guess that would not break America’s commitment to the armed forces’ bug out, with fingers crossed, bien sure. Is there any secure agreement between the US and Turkey on taking over security at Kabul International airport? Given that they are inscrutable about playing both sides against the middle, what do you think?
Any agreement between the US and Turkey faces a problem. The Taliban say that the Turks are NATO and have to get out with all their allies.
In related news, we’re vacating three bases and the support mission out of Qatar. That includes an ammunition supply point and lots of prepositioned heavy weapons and equipment. The entire logistical mission is moving to Jordan. Sounds like we intend to stay in al Tanf and the oilfields SE of Deir al-Zour, but our commitment to stay in Iraq is winding down almost as fast as in Afghanistan. We’ll continue to use the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, a basing hub for CENTCOM. The stated reason for the move was to remove the bases as targets or bargaining chips for Iran.
According to Bloomberg today a number of these folk may end up “parked” in the Stans:
“The U.S. has asked Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to take in about 9,000 Afghans who assisted with the American military’s invasion and occupation of the country, according to three people familiar with the request, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.”
If accurate, the last minute nature of this planning is not an encouraging sign IMO.
The “stans” are all so tribal – how can their safety ever be assured? Even if they can ‘blend in” by language, looks and dress. They will never be clan members outside their own indigenous territories. Thier displaced lives in the “stans” may still be …”brutish, painful and short”.
>“.Before the IMO inevitable total collapse or transition of the present Afghan government to a wholly owned subsidiary of the Taliban movement.”
Judging by the noises made from the usual quarters, “Plan B” when (not if) the central authority of Afghanistan collapses is to empower local “barons”. You know, charming ethno-minority warlords who are also bacha-bazi “appreciators”. They are also screwed (heh, the irony!) in the long run, but as a stop-gap measure it will do.
I think, overall, this is SO wonderful! I mean, humanity now possess the technology and knowledge to view nearly real-time how a state becomes a 110% true Medieval feudal mess. History is transpires before our mortal eyes!
The interpreters and other helpers will get screwed, blued, tatooed, waylaid and meleed.
At the mercy of the US DOD and Dept. of State is not a good place to be – rampant incompetence on a GOOD day.
As for Afghanistan, good riddance – a “country” that revels in being in the 12th century.
We should have gone in there in 2001 and wiped out Al Qaeda and told the government that any more threats, we’ll be back with MORE guns.
Until that happens, enjoy the 12th century.
But the US military, that hasn’t won a war since 1945, couldn’t do that; they let Bin Laden get away and then proceeded to do what they do best – spend vast amounts of blood and money with no strategic vision, reward themselves with stars and losing in the end….. AGAIN.
Not just the military; they got plenty of direction/help from W Bush and his merry band of swamp “strategists.”
It’s only wogs and Deplorables who get it in the neck, so why should Our Elites care. They’re probably making massive bank off of the whole episode, too. Interlocking boards, don’t you know, and not just in the private sector, either, as the transitions between private sector and government are a constant – one might go so far as to characterize this as being by design – and money is made through insider information and influence peddling. Sickening.
Your vituperation against the generals as a class is well merited. I share it as they are in the main mere careerists. But what you call “defeat” in wars since 1945 were results dictated by national policy.
Via The Captain’s Journal
Yes we best get our Affy allies out asap. Verify on Guam.
(I can’t recall how I signed last time on the old blog – the post on the TX church shooter’s name being ‘Brian O. DeWall’ – so …