August 31 has been declared a national holiday in Afghanistan to mark the day when the last US soldier departed the country. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Taliban has also made an announcement regarding this. The day signifies the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan after a prolonged conflict that resulted in the loss of thousands of lives.
This year marks the second anniversary of the inaugural festivities that celebrated the first anniversary of the withdrawal. The first anniversary of the pullout was celebrated with initial celebrations last year, organized by the Taliban’s supporters and the government. Outside the former US embassy in Kabul, Massoud Square was the site of a demonstration by Taliban insurgents.
US Army Major General Chris Donahue, the final American soldier, departed on a military transport jet on August 31, 2021, shortly before the pullout deadline had passed. This signalled the end of a difficult, 20-year military war that cost a lot of money and claimed thousands of lives.
As part of the global “War on Terror” that was declared in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US and its allies sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001 to fight Al-Qaeda and other extremist organizations. Even though Western forces quickly seized control of Kabul, the Taliban remained present in a sizable chunk of the nation, sparking a protracted struggle with the rebels. The campaign lost support in the US over time, becoming increasingly unpopular.
The Taliban effectively retook control of numerous provincial capitals in August 2021, and they eventually took control of Kabul with little opposition. The Pentagon hastily evacuated the city as a result of its abrupt fall, paying particular attention to diplomats, American citizens, and their allies in Afghanistan. The United States swift withdrawal from the country in August 2021 has faced criticism for leaving behind numerous Afghans who had worked with allied forces.