US in Afghanistan
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mark Scott uses his weapon's scope to scan the area while providing security from his battle position during an escort detail at Forward Operating Base Farah in Afghanistan's Farah province on April 7, 2012. Scott is assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah's security force. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lovelady, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

What Comes Next for Afghanistan After American Troops Depart?

On April 14th President Joe Biden announced that American troops will be leaving Afghanistan by September 11, 2021–the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that drew the US into Afghanistan in the first place.

This decision did not come as a surprise. Biden has long been a skeptic of a large US military footprint in the country. Still, this is a significant inflection point in both US foreign policy and for the future of Afghanistan.

On the line with me to discuss the implications of the decision to end US military presence in Afghanistan after 20 years is Adam Weinstein, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and a military veteran who served Afghanistan.

We kick off with an extended conversation about diplomatic context the Biden administration inherited when it took office in January. We then discuss how key players like the Afghan government, NATO allies and the Taliban have reacted to this announcement. Finally, we discuss what the future might hold for Afghanistan without a US security guarantee?

If you have 25 minutes and want to better understand the implications of the US winding down its military engagement in Afghanistan after two decades, have a listen.

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