The role of airpower in the withdrawal of coalition troops from Afghanistan

All US and coalition troops are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 after two decades. Tim Ripley looks at the role of airpower in the evacuation and the possibility of follow-on missions.

For 20 years Afghanistan has been the central front in what former US President George W Bush dubbed the “global war on terror”. One of his successors, Donald Trump, was less impressed with the conflict and called America’s fight in the central Asian country as “the forever war”. Trump tried to end the US troop presence in the dying days of his time in the White House.

Leaving Afghanistan [US DoD]
Boeing F/A-18D Hornets of US Marine All Weather Fighter Squadron 224 (VMFA-AW-224) arrive at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia in May to provide top cover for the US withdrawal. US Department of Defense (DoD)

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