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US begins final troop withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years

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The United States began the final phase of withdrawing its military forces from Afghanistan on Saturday.

U.S. Air Force pararescuemen ride in the back of their medivac helicopter with the American flag-draped bodies of U.S. soldiers who were killed in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan
US Air Force pararescuemen ride in their medivac helicopter with the bodies of US soldiers who were killed in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan, Oct. 10, 2010.
AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File

The May 1 date was set by President Biden as the official start of a final withdrawal of US forces that will end by Sept. 11.

Afghan Army soldiers secure a military base that was previously in use by the US soldiers
Afghan Army soldiers secure a military base that was previously in use by the US soldiers on April 14, 2021.
EPA/GHULAMULLAH HABIBI

There are currently about 2,500 to 3,500 American troops in the Central Asian nation, according to reports, along with about 7,000 members of NATO forces.

US President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden announced that the withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan will end by Sept. 11.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

America’s final effort to extract itself has already been underway, with reports in recent weeks of equipment leaving Afghanistan on huge C-17 Globemaster cargo planes.

American soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division deploy to fight Taliban fighters as part of Operation Mountain Thrust to a U.S. base near the village of Deh Afghan on June 22, 2006
US troops are being withdrawn from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.
John Moore/Getty Images

The 20 years of America’s longest war have come at a high cost for both the US and Afghanistan.

Sargent Sheena Adams, 25, US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II blows bubbles with Afghan boys surrounding her while on patrol on November 21, 2010 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan
Sargent Sheena Adams, 25, blows bubbles with Afghan boys surrounding her while on patrol on November 21, 2010 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Brown University’s Costs of War project estimates that the United States has spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan over the past two decades, with more than 47,000 civilian casualties.

US soldiers sit beneath an American flag just raised to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
May 1 date was the date set by President Biden as the official start of a final withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
AP Photo/David Goldman, File

The US has suffered 2,442 troops killed and 20,666 wounded, according to the Department of Defense.

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