#AceNewsReport – Aug.16: RAAF planes are expected to arrive in Kabul as early as this week to begin the evacuation, which will be coordinated with the arrival of US and British security forces.
#AceDailyNews reports that Australian military plans to evacuate hundreds from Afghanistan as Taliban enters Kabul and President leaves country belived to take up residence in Tajikistan as the ABC says heres US war in Afghanistan comes to an end, here’s a look at why it began, what happened over these 20 years, and what the future looks like details from beginning to end below ……
The ABC can reveal the hastily organised “air bridge” mission will also likely involve Australian customs and immigration personnel, as well as consular and foreign service officers.
Among those to be evacuated will be Afghan interpreters and contractors who served alongside Australian Defence Force troops.
Australians working for Afghan and international charities and non-government organisations will also be offered evacuation, as well as journalists and some dual citizens.
Australia quietly withdrew the last of its defence and civilian personnel from Afghanistan on June 18 despite serious doubts about the strategic wisdom of the retreat.
The decision to withdraw was made by the National Security of Cabinet on or about May 12, just days after Foreign Minister Marise Payne had met President Ashraf Ghani and “affirmed Australia’s support for the Afghanistan government and people during this time of change for the country”.
As the ABC revealed last month, the government has been considering re-establishing a presence in Afghanistan to monitor the resurgence of the Taliban.
But the speed with which the insurgents have retaken much of Afghanistan’s north, west and southern provinces has shocked Western allies.
The Taliban has taken the second- and third-largest cities in Afghanistan, Herat and Kandahar, and on Friday the Taliban captured Tarin Kot, the base for Australian forces for more than a decade.
They have also captured the major city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, drawing closer to the capital Kabul.
Australia to ‘support those who aided us’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Australia was working closely with international partners on a “coordinated response” but refused to provide details of the mission.Plea for Australia to help push back against TalibanAfghanistan’s foreign minister is concerned that receding US air support is putting pressure on the country’s military from holding back the militant group.Read more
“We will not be discussing any operational plans at this point in order to maintain the security of those operations and of course to protect those who are most vulnerable who are the subject of those operations,” Mr Morrison said.
Australia has already brought to Australia more than 400 Afghan locally engaged employees and their families.
Mr Morrison said that while what was happening in Afghanistan was “heartbreaking”, Australia and its partners had completed the mission to find al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden and prevent Afghanistan becoming a base for terrorist attack.
“That was achieved but the challenge for the people of Afghanistan, sadly, remain an unresolved issue and we hope for the best for them,” he said.
“But the situation is very dire and our focus now is to ensure that we continue to support those who aided us.”
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the situation in Afghanistan was “deeply disturbing”, especially considering what the resurgence of the Taliban would mean for women and girls.
“It is very concerning to contemplate the circumstances which face those women and girls now,” Senator Payne said.
Labor says government too slow to offer protection
Shadow Defence Minister Brendan O’Connor said the government had moved too slowly to offer protection to Afghans who had served alongside Australian troops.The Taliban’s last battle in northern AfghanistanThe Taliban is advancing across Afghanistan, but it’s the cities that hold the keys to power. Read more
“There are too few of those friends of the Australian Defence Force and Australia that have been provided such support,” he said.
“And now we are seeing the heartbreaking scenes in Afghanistan of the very quick deterioration of the stability of the country.”
Mr O’Connor said Labor would be seeking briefings from the government about its plans for locally engaged staff as well as any broader action.
“We also would like to hear clearly from the government, particularly after its engagement with our partners, as to what we will do to stabilise the country in these circumstances.”
Biden faces backlash for retreat
US President Joe Biden has faced international and domestic criticism for America’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan, with British defence secretary Ben Wallace saying it risked returning the war-torn country to a breeding ground for terrorism.Looking back at the US war in Afghanistan
The Taliban’s breakneck advance towards Kabul has forced a rethink from the US on its continued diplomatic presence in Afghanistan.
The US will deploy 3,000 troops to secure evacuations of US embassy staff from Kabul’s green zone. Britain will do the same, sending about 600 troops on a short-term mission, and Canada will dispatch special force soldiers.
Mr Biden was never enthusiastic about the Afghanistan war, saying the US objective “to degrade the terrorist threat and keep Afghanistan from becoming a base from which attacks could be continued against the United States” had been achieved.
“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build,” the US President said last month.
Beginning & The End: Afghan Conflict: Taliban take Mazar-i-Sharif, government’s last northern stronghold
10 hours ago
From 9/11, to intense fighting on the ground, and now full withdrawal of US-led forces, here’s what happened.
11 September 2001
Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, carries out the largest terror attack ever conducted on US soil.Image caption The World Trade Centre is reduced to rubble Image copyright by Getty
Four commercial airliners are hijacked. Two are flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, which collapses. One hits the Pentagon building in Washington, and one crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.
First air strikes
7 October 2001
A US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan. Targets include Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.
The Taliban, who took power after a decade-long Soviet occupation was followed by civil war, refuse to hand over Bin Laden. Their air defences and small fleet of fighter aircraft are destroyed.
Fall of Kabul
13 November 2001
The Northern Alliance, a group of anti-Taliban rebels backed by coalition forces, enters Kabul as the Taliban flee the city.Image caption Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat Image copyright by Getty
By the 13 November 2001, all Taliban have either fled or been neutralised. Other cities quickly fall.
26 January 2004
After protracted negotiations at a “loya jirga” or grand assembly, the new Afghan constitution is signed into law. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.
Hamid Karzai becomes president
7 December 2004Image caption Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president Image copyright by Getty
Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, becomes the first president under the new constitution. He serves two five-year terms as president.
UK troops deployed to Helmand
British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south of the country.Image caption Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmand Image copyright by Getty
Their initial mission is to support reconstruction projects, but they are quickly drawn into combat operations. More than 450 British troops lose their lives in Afghanistan over the course of the conflict.
17 February 2009
US President Barack Obama approves a major increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At their peak, they number about 140,000.Image caption US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the country Image copyright by Getty
The so-called “surge” is modelled on US strategy in Iraq where US forces focussed on protecting the civilian population as well as killing insurgent fighters.
Osama Bin Laden killed
2 May 2011Image caption Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy Image copyright by Getty
The leader of al-Qaeda is killed in an assault by US Navy Seals on a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is removed and buried at sea. The operation ends a 10-year hunt led by the CIA. The confirmation that Bin Laden had been living on Pakistani soil fuels accusations in the US that Pakistan is an unreliable ally in the war on terror.
Death of Mullah Omar
23 April 2013
The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, dies. His death is kept secret for more than two years.Image caption The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980s Image copyright by EPA
According to Afghan intelligence, Mullah Omar dies of health problems at a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Pakistan denies that he was in the country.
Nato ends combat operations
28 December 2014
At a ceremony in Kabul, Nato ends its combat operations in Afghanistan. With the surge now over, the US withdraws thousands of troops. Most of those who remain focus on training and supporting the Afghan security forces.
The Taliban launch a series of suicide attacks, car bombings and other assaults. The parliament building in Kabul, and the city of Kunduz are attacked. Islamic State militants begin operations in Afghanistan.Image caption Kabul’s international airport is struck on 10 August 2015 Image copyright by Getty
Death toll announcement
25 January 2019
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says more than 45,000 members of his country’s security forces have been killed since he became leader in 2014. The figure is far higher than previously thought.
US signs deal with Taliban
29 February 2020
The US and the Taliban sign an “agreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan, in Doha, Qatar. The US and Nato allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.Image caption The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawal Image copyright by Getty
Date for final withdrawal
11 September 2021
US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, exactly 20 years since 9/11. There are strong indications that the withdrawal may be complete before the official deadline.
#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.16: 2021:
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