2021/08/31 20-year war ends: Afghanistan picks up the pieces

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National unity and economy are now the top priorities, according to Taliban spokesperson Zaihullah Mujahid, after their fighters entered into Kabul’s international airport, the last U.S. military-held area in Kabul. U.S. troop presence in the country ended with flights from the airport before Monday midnight local time, signaling the tortuous end to a brutal 20-year war. In the past two decades, more than 240,000 people lost their lives as a direct result of the war, including tens of thousands of civilians. Over the weekend, a U.S. drone strike against a suspected suicide bomber in Kabul killed several civilians including children. The Taliban condemned the airstrike as “unlawful.” After the full exit, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. may take some measure of diplomacy with the Taliban, especially on issues of “vital national interests.” He also said the U.S. diplomatic mission in Kabul had moved to Doha, Qatar. Much uncertainty still grips Afghanistan – an uphill climb in rebuilding, and how inclusive the new government under the Taliban will be. On Monday, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting and voted on an Afghanistan draft resolution, with 13 votes in favor and two abstentions, from China and Russia. Chinese Deputy Ambassador to the UN Geng Shuang pointed out the recent chaos in Afghanistan is a direct result of the hasty and disorderly withdrawal of foreign troops. He said “relevant” countries should take responsibility for the past 20 years and keep in mind the Afghan people’s interests. Meanwhile, the threat of terrorism may be far from eliminated in Afghanistan after 20 years of U.S. military presence. Instead, the number of terrorist groups in the country grew from single digits to more than 20. What’s in store for Afghanistan? How could the nation move forward? #Afghan #US

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