Final phase of US military withdrawal from Afghanistan under way

US begins task of removing forces after spending $2tn in two decades in country

A vacated US military base at Kandahar International Airport, seen on April 29th, 2021. Photograph: Javed Tanveer/AFP via Getty Images

A vacated US military base at Kandahar International Airport, seen on April 29th, 2021. Photograph: Javed Tanveer/AFP via Getty Images

The final phase of ending America’s “forever war” in Afghanistan after 20 years is formally under way, with the withdrawal of the last US and Nato troops due to be completed by the end of summer.

US president Joe Biden had set May 1st as the official start of the withdrawal of the remaining forces – about 2,500-3,500 US troops and 7,000 Nato soldiers.

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