(HorizonPost.com) – Al Qaeda terrorists turned civilian aircraft into weapons, killing almost 3000 civilians on American soil on the morning of September 11, 2001. Less than a month later, on October 7, United States B-52 and B-1 bombers in joint airstrikes with forces from the United Kingdom targeted Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan and began Operation Enduring Freedom.
While that officially ended on December 28, 2014, American and NATO allies remained on the ground helping to train Afghan security forces. That presence officially came to an end on Friday, July 2, as US and NATO forces transferred control of Bagram Airfield, located near the city of Kabul, to Afghani government forces. Soon the last US troops will depart from that airfield to go home.
That is certainly good news for the men and women who have fought and died so far from home in the last 20 years, but it’s not without risk, according to the top US officer in-country, four-star General Austin Scott Miller. According to ABC News, the general described the security situation as “not good” because “the Taliban are on the move.”
What Might Have Been…
The terrorists’ offensive may result from President Joe Biden’s decision earlier this year to extend the date that NATO-allied troops would be out of the country beyond May 1, the date negotiated among all parties under former President Donald Trump in the spring of 2020. In an article dated April 15, 2021, the Daily Mail reported on threats made by Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, although his official Twitter account says he’s the “Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” which is how the Taliban refer to themselves.
He said that if the deadline (May 1, 2021) was missed, “those whom [sic] failed to comply with the agreement will be held liable.” Posts to his account as recently as July 1 describe battles and say that soldiers of the “Kabul administration” have been “rescued.”
د کاپيسا په اله سای ولسوالۍ کې هم ګڼ شمير د کابل ادارې عسکرو او اربکيانو نجات وموند او د اسلامي امارت نجات بښونکې غيږې ته راغلل، ښه راغلاست ورته وايو. pic.twitter.com/uxilplNrjH
— Zabihullah (..ذبـــــیح الله م ) (@Zabehulah_M33) July 1, 2021
The fledgling peace envisioned by the original withdrawal agreement between the civilian Afghan government, the Taliban and the US seems to have crumbled since the terrorists have decided to forgo further talks. If the commanding general of the United States Army, stationed on the spot, is unsure of what will happen, then certainly nobody in an office around the world can guess either. While we can rightfully be thankful for American boots leaving the ground there, the potential exists for a full-out civil war in Afghanistan.
Copyright 2021, HorizonPost.com