The end of the 'forever war': What future awaits the Afghan people?


America's longest war is over. With just one minute to spare before President Joe Biden's midnight deadline for exiting the country, US Air Force planes carried the last contingent of troops from Kabul airport on Monday night. It was a frantic, harrowing and extremely dangerous final two weeks for those soldiers as they oversaw the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans, Americans and others seeking to escape Afghanistan – a country that is once again ruled by the Taliban.


The 20-year war, which cost $2 trillion and claimed more than 2,400 American lives, as well as the lives of 1,100 troops from coalition countries and more than 100,000 Afghans, is now over. Earlier today, the Taliban triumphantly marched into Kabul airport, proudly posing for photographs against the backdrop of the largely disabled US military hardware that was left behind.

The nation of 38 million people will soon find out what path their country will take under the new brand of Taliban leadership. So what will this chapter be remembered for? Will history be kind to President Joe Biden for ending this so-called forever war? And what kind of future awaits the Afghan people? 

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Take international news everywhere with you! Download the France 24 app