Most European Troops Exit Afghanistan Quietly After 20 Years

Soldiers of the German Armed Forces have lined up in front of the Airbus A400M transport aircraft of the German Air Force for the final roll call in Wunstorf, Germany, Wednesdat, June 390, 2021. The last soldiers of the German Afghanistan mission have arrived at the air base in Lower Saxony. The mission had ended the previous evening after almost 20 years. The soldiers had been flown out with four military planes from the field camp in Masar-i-Sharif in the north of Afghanistan. (Hauke-Christian Dittrich/Pool via AP)

(AP) — Most European troops have already pulled out of Afghanistan, quietly withdrawing months before the U.S.-led mission was officially expected to end. It’s part of an anticlimactic close to the “forever war” that risks leaving the country on the brink of civil war.

Germany and Italy declared their missions in Afghanistan over on Wednesday when Poland’s last troops returned home. That brought their deployments to a low-key end nearly 20 years after the first Western soldiers were deployed there.

Announcements from several countries analyzed by The Associated Press show that a majority of European troops has now left with little ceremony. NATO declined to give an update on how many nations still have troops in its Resolute Support mission.


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