What America Leaves When It Leaves Afghanistan

This month, the outgoing commander of America’s military effort in Afghanistan told Congress that the country the United States invaded more than 14 years ago was at “an inflection point.” The Taliban reportedly holds more territory than at any time since 2001, and civilian casualties are at record levels. Ethnic minorities are especially vulnerable; some fear that peace talks with the Taliban could open a place in the government for an organization that waged a campaign of ethnic cleansing against them.

For all of these reasons, even as U.S. forces continue to depart the country, the war in Afghanistan isn’t over yet, and by many measures it’s not going well.

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