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Home World U.S. Leaves Its Last Afghan Base, Effectively Ending Operations

U.S. Leaves Its Last Afghan Base, Effectively Ending Operations

Other foreign forces that helped guard the base as part of the U.S.-led coalition, like those from Georgia and the Czech Republic, saw their own casualties during their deployments.

In 2014, as the United States concluded its first official drawdown after the surge of troops in the years before — which brought the number of American and other international forces into the country to well over 100,000 — Bagram began to shrink.

Local contractors were fired, troops left and the surrounding town of the same name went into a downward economic spiral. Many residents had been reliant on the base for employment, and others had sorted through the camp’s refuse for goods that could be sold or shipped to Kabul.

On Friday, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, called the departure from Bagram a “positive step.”

With Bagram gone, what is left of the American forces in the country remain in Kabul. After General Miller leaves in the next several days, his authorities to carry out airstrikes against Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and, in very limited circumstances, against the Taliban, will be assumed by Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military’s Central Command.

Rear Adm. Peter G. Vasely, a former member of SEAL Team 6, will be in charge of the security mission at the United States Embassy in Kabul, and will report to General McKenzie. Admiral Vasely, who is already in Kabul for the transition, will command the American troops that will be largely based at the embassy and remain there indefinitely.

Through September, General McKenzie will also be authorized to keep about 300 additional troops in Afghanistan, if needed for security, Pentagon officials said.

Fatima Faizi contributed reporting from Kabul, and Eric Schmitt from Washington.


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