‘What was the point?’ Afghans rue decades of war as U.S. quits Bagram

KABUL, July 3 (Reuters) – As American troops left their main military base in Afghanistan on Friday, marking a symbolic end to the longest war in U.S. history, locals living in the shadow of the base and in nearby Kabul were left ruing the past and bracing for what comes next.

Violence has been raging throughout Afghanistan in the weeks since President Joe Biden announced troops would withdraw unconditionally by Sept. 11.

With peace talks in Qatar stuttering, and roughly a quarter of the country’s districts having fallen to the Taliban in recent weeks according to one study, many are concerned that chaos looms.

Malek Mir, a mechanic in Bagram who saw the Soviet Army and then the Americans come and go, said he had was left with a deep sense of sadness at the futility of a foreign presence.

“They came with bombing the Taliban and got rid of their regime – but now they have left when the Taliban are so empowered that they will take over any time soon,” he said.

Reporting by Kabul bureau; Editing by Euan Rocha and Mike Harrison

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Source: Reuters