U.S. forces at the forefront of America’s longest war

Over 800,000 US military members served in Afghanistan during the longest war in the United States. This is a multi-generational battle against a tenacious rebellion.

For frontline troops, sometimes it meant maintaining a remote outpost, as mortars, rockets, or gunfire hit almost every day. That meant patrol the orchards looking for the hidden Taliban down the explosive-filled road. They brought missions to the village and tried to build support among the inhabitants. The raid aimed at the radical commander turned into a shootout.

With the surge that began in 2009, troops regained territory from the Taliban at the group’s southern bases in Helmand and Kandahar, but rebels regained it a few years later when the surge receded. It was. Strategic valleys such as the southern Aurandal, which protects access to Korengar and Kandahar in the alpine near the Pakistani border, dig into years of military cycles, fighting and trying to expand their dominance. did.

Although the role of American combat was declared almost seven years ago, the army continued to train Afghan troops and hunt terrorist groups. On Friday, the last army left Bagram Airfield, north of Kabul, the main base in conflict, and handed it over to Afghan troops. This is a signal that the complete withdrawal from the country is almost complete.

In nearly 20 years, more than 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 20,000 were injured.

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