The Rise, Fall and Recapture of Power: A Timeline of US Involvement in Afghanistan

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The United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan connected Monday, marking the extremity of a warfare that has outgo tens of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars implicit the span of 20 years.

In the aftermath of U.S. forces departing, the Taliban seized power of the state and the Afghan authorities collapsed, sparking panic successful Kabul and a unreserved to evacuate U.S. Embassy personnel, foreigners and Afghan allies.

The two-week airlift brought scenes of desperation and horror. Massive crowds of Afghan citizens hopeless to fly the Taliban descended onto Kabul's main airdrome successful the waning days of the U.S.-led evacuation campaign. American troops faced the daunting task of getting last evacuees onto planes portion besides getting themselves and immoderate of their instrumentality out. Thirteen work members were killed successful a termination bombing astatine the airdrome connected Aug. 26.

What happened and however did we get here?

Below is simply a timeline of events successful Afghanistan that led to the Taliban's rise, autumn and recapture of powerfulness aft decades of war.

July 3, 1979U.S. Sets Up Proxy Against USSR

A covert CIA mission, named Operation Cyclone, funneled weapons and wealth to Pakistan's then-President Mohammed Zia-ul Hag arsenic a proxy for the U.S. against the Soviet Union’s beingness successful Afghanistan. The cognition outgo much than $2 cardinal implicit 8 years, according to the New York Times.

Click present for a larger image.

December 25, 1979USSR Invades Afghanistan

 A squad of Soviet troops with automatic weapons marches connected  the Kabul Airport tarmac Dec. 30, 1979.

Steve McCurry, Robbino/AP Images

Top, right: Rebel Muslim fighters inspect a captured Soviet vessel adjacent Asmar, Afghanistan, Dec. 27, 1979. Bottom: A squad of Soviet troops with automatic weapons marches connected the Kabul Airport tarmac Dec. 30, 1979.

Soviet Union troops invaded Afghanistan connected Christmas arsenic portion of an alleged involution successful enactment of the Afghan communist government. The Soviets claimed that the caller Afghanistan communist leader, Babrak Karmal, invited them into the country. The Soviet Union would stay for astir a decade, until February 1989.

February 2, 1983Reagan Meets With Mujahadeen Fighters

On this day, President Ronald Reagan met with Afghan “freedom fighters” astatine the White House to sermon the convulsive acts carried retired by the Soviet Union successful Afghanistan. When the Soviets yet left, America was the adjacent large powerfulness to measurement in.

September 26, 1986 U.S. Supplies Region With Anti-Aircraft Stinger Missiles

A mujahadeen combatant  carries a U.S.-made shoulder-fired Stinger rocket  during the 1989 Jalalabad violative  successful  eastbound   Afghanistan. The limb   is susceptible  of shooting down   fast-moving craft  by locking connected  to the vigor   awesome   generated by the engines.

Larry C. Price/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A mujahadeen combatant carries a U.S.-made shoulder-fired Stinger rocket during the 1989 Jalalabad violative successful eastbound Afghanistan. The limb is susceptible of shooting down fast-moving craft by locking connected to the vigor awesome generated by the engines.

Reaching a "stalemate" successful combat, neither the U.S. nor Soviet Union gained vantage implicit the different astatine this constituent during the Afghanistan war. In response, President Ronald Reagan and White House officials turned to the stinger, a new, anti-aircraft, shoulder-launched heat-seeking missile, to people Soviet helicopters. The U.S. trained and equipped respective Afghan rebels with stingers, who successfully changeable down respective choppers from the ground, securing the archetypal large triumph for the U.S. against the aerial fleet.

February 15, 1989 – USSR Leaves Afghanistan

After 10 years successful conflict against the U.S.-backed mujahedeen, the Soviet Union negotiated its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Soviet Army soldiers question    their hands arsenic  their past  detachment crosses a span  connected  the borderline  betwixt  Afghanistan and past    Soviet Uzbekistan adjacent   the Uzbek municipality  of Termez, Feb. 15, 1989.

Vitaly Zaporozhchenko/AP

Soviet Army soldiers question their hands arsenic their past detachment crosses a span connected the borderline betwixt Afghanistan and past Soviet Uzbekistan adjacent the Uzbek municipality of Termez, Feb. 15, 1989.

April 1992Pro-Soviet Government Collapses; Power Vacuum Sparks Civil War

The pro-Soviet Union authorities of Mohammad Najibullah collapses, making mode for mujahedeen leaders to expanse successful and instrumentality power. Najibullah is enactment nether location apprehension during this time.

In-fighting betwixt mujahedeen groups would past for 4 years from 1992-1996, sidesplitting thousands of civilians, until the Taliban took over.

Early 1990sTaliban Emerges successful the Region

The Taliban emerged soon after the Soviet’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Mullah Omar founded the extremist Islamic group, whose superior extremity was to enforce their strict mentation of Sharia that includes nationalist executions of convicted murderers and amputations for those recovered blameworthy of theft.

Mullah Omar, main  of the Taliban, seen successful  this undated headshot.

Getty Images

Mullah Omar, main of the Taliban, seen successful this undated photo.

September 26, 1996Taliban Takes Control of Kabul

After hardly putting up a fight, the Taliban swept crossed Afghanistan and took power of the superior metropolis of Kabul.

President Najibullah was hanged by the insurgents 1 time aft Kabul was taken over. In the years earlier his death, Najibullah had been forced from bureau and sought refuge successful a United Nations compound, wherever was helium sheltered for 4 years.

August 20, 1998 – Clinton Launches Air Strikes connected Al-Qaeda Bases

After U.S. embassies successful Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were attacked connected Aug. 7, President Bill Clinton launched a acceptable of aerial strikes targeted astatine respective suspected Al-Qaeda bases successful Afghanistan nether "Operation Infinite Strike." The missiles deed their intended targets, but nary violent leaders were killed.

March 2001 – Taliban Destroys Buddha Statues to Global Outcry

A elephantine  statue of the Buddha, carved onto the broadside  of a cliff successful  the Bamyan Valley, Afghanistan, betwixt  591 and 644 B.C. (left) was destroyed connected  April 11, 2001 by the Taliban to planetary  outcry (right). The statue was 1  of 2  Buddha statues detonated to travel  the cardinal  Islamic main   that forbids showing the quality  assemblage  successful  art.

Culture Club, Hulton Archive via Getty Images

A elephantine statue of the Buddha, carved onto the broadside of a cliff successful the Bamyan Valley, Afghanistan, betwixt 591 and 644 B.C. (left) was destroyed connected April 11, 2001 by the Taliban to planetary outcry (right).

The Taliban demolished 2 monolithic Buddha statues from the 5th period that lined the Bamiyan Valley aft declaring them to beryllium a signifier of idolatry. The incidental ignited planetary outcry and highlighted the conflict betwixt the authorities and persecuted minorities who lived successful Afghanistan, specified arsenic the Shiite Muslims residing successful Bamiyan.

September 11, 2001 9/11 Attacks

Nineteen terrorists hijacked 4 commercialized airplanes to transportation retired attacks against the U.S. Two of the planes were flown into the precocious floors of the Twin Towers astatine the World Trade Center successful New York City, portion different was flown into the Pentagon successful Arlington, Virginia. The 4th level crashed into an bare tract extracurricular of Washington, D.C. aft passengers fought backmost against the hijackers.

The onslaught had been coordinated and backed by Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban was supporting Al-Qaeda successful Afghanistan astatine the clip of the onslaught that killed 2,977 people.

An aerial presumption    of the 9/11 attacks connected  the World Trade Centre Site successful  New York, Sept. 11, 2001.

Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

An aerial presumption of the 9/11 attacks connected the World Trade Centre Site successful New York, Sept. 11, 2001.

Firefighters instrumentality     a interruption  astatine  the tract  of the violent  onslaught  astatine  the Pentagon, Sept. 11, 2001. The terrorists struck the World Trade Center Towers successful  New York City and the Pentagon.

Stephen Jaffe/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters instrumentality a interruption astatine the tract of the violent onslaught astatine the Pentagon, Sept. 11, 2001. The terrorists struck the World Trade Center Towers successful New York City and the Pentagon.

Emergency workers look   implicit    the tract  wherever  the Boeing 757 of United Airlines crashed adjacent   Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Gary Tramontina/Sygma via Getty Images

Emergency workers look implicit the tract wherever the Boeing 757 of United Airlines crashed adjacent Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

October 7, 2001 U.S. Invades Afghanistan

In effect to the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. launched "Operation Enduring Freedom" aft the Taliban declined to extradite members of Al-Qaeda, sparking the warfare successful Afghanistan.

Alongside the Northern Alliance, British and allied forces, the U.S. led a bid of crushed and aerial attacks with a stated ngo to guarantee that Afghanistan "is ne'er again a sanctuary to al-Qaida oregon different transnational extremists that it was anterior to 9/11."

November 13, 2001 – Taliban Flees Kabul Following U.S.-Led Airstrikes

A Northern confederation  Mujahed looks connected  arsenic  a U.S. craft  merchandise  its load   of bombs, Nov. 7, 2001.

Marco Di Lauro/AP

A Northern confederation Mujahed looks connected arsenic a U.S. craft merchandise its load of bombs, Nov. 7, 2001.

With the assistance of 90 countries supporting the United States, “Operation Enduring Freedom” led to the autumn of Kabul connected Nov. 13, 2001. After much than 217,000 troops from the conjugation invaded Afghanistan and a full of 24,000 bombs were dropped, the Taliban fled Kabul and astir of bluish Afghanistan.

December 5, 2001 – Bonn Agreement

After the Taliban fled Kabul, Afghanistan was near without immoderate signifier of instrumentality and order. Afghan officials met with the U.N. successful Bonn, Germany, to make a program to govern the country. The Bonn Agreement laid the instauration for the U.S. and NATO-backed efforts to statesman rebuilding the state earlier a imperishable authorities was established.

December 5, 2001Hamid Karzai Becomes President of Afghanistan

Afghan officials alongside the planetary assemblage named Hamid Karzai seat of the interim medication implicit the country. In June 2002, a loya jirga -- a 'grand council' successful the Pashto connection -- named Karzai president of the transitional government.

December 7, 2001 – Taliban Regime Officially Collapses

Taliban forces surrendered their last grasp of power successful the metropolis of Kandahar, marking the authoritative illness of the Taliban regime.

Defecting Taliban fighters maneuver a vessel  done  the beforehand   enactment     adjacent   the colony   of Amirabad, Nov. 24, 2001. Hundreds of Taliban defected to the bluish   confederation  that day, paving the mode   for the autumn  of Kunduz.

Jerome Delay/AP

Defecting Taliban fighters maneuver a vessel done the beforehand enactment adjacent the colony of Amirabad, Nov. 24, 2001. Hundreds of Taliban defected to the Northern Alliance that day, paving the mode for the autumn of Kunduz.

May 1, 2003 – Bush Prematurely Claims End of Wars successful Iraq and Afghanistan

Standing nether a “Mission Accomplished” banner, President George W. Bush claimed triumph aft declaring “major combat operations successful Iraq person ended.”  The code was highly criticized due to the fact that warring persisted for respective much years aft the speech.

President George W. Bush declares the extremity  of large   combat successful  Iraq arsenic  helium  speaks aboard the craft  bearer  USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 2003.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

President George W. Bush declares the extremity of large combat successful Iraq arsenic helium speaks aboard the craft bearer USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 2003.

2006 – Taliban Reemerges, Begins to Reclaim Territories

With the U.S. engaged successful Iraq, Taliban forces grew stronger and gained momentum with a deadly question of termination attacks connected NATO troops. The recuperating radical of terrorists began reclaiming territory successful parts of the South.  

October 7, 2011 – Ten Year Anniversary of the 'War connected Terror'

The United States marked 10 years of concern successful Afghanistan by precocious 2011, surpassing the Soviet Union's concern of 9 years and 50 days.

December 8, 2014 – U.S., NATO Formally Ends Combat Mission

U.S. and NATO forces ended combat successful Afghanistan and transitioned efforts to a enactment and grooming role. The Afghan service took implicit each subject and information operations from NATO forces.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama gave the greenish airy for subject operations against Taliban and al-Qaeda targets.

July 29, 2015 – Taliban Head Mullah Omar Confirmed Dead

The U.S. confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, the begetter of the Taliban. Despite the day of confirmation, Afghan officials said Omar had been dormant for “a couple of years” by that time.

2015 to 2018

Taliban attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces accrued to astir daily, arsenic an Islamic State affiliate began to emerge. As tensions escalated, President Obama nixed his plans to retreat troops from Afghanistan by the extremity of his clip successful office.

Attacks continued to summation arsenic President Donald Trump entered office. Reneging connected his past calls to exit Afghanistan, Trump unveiled his caller strategy, saying the U.S. could not spend a hasty withdrawal from the country.

2018 to 2019

President Trump appointed Zalmay Khalilzad to negociate with the Taliban arsenic violent enactment spiked successful the region. The Taliban refused to negociate with Kabul and much attacks continued to escalate.

August 18, 2019 – Suicide Attack Kills Dozens astatine Kabul Wedding

A termination   bombing targeted a wedding reception successful  Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2019.

Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A wedding reception was the people of a termination bombing successful Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2019. Dozens of radical died successful the attack.

A termination bomber detonated an explosives-filled vest successful the mediate of a wedding celebration, sidesplitting 63 radical and injuring 182 others. The Islamic State claimed work for the onslaught successful Kabul. The continued enactment of IS threatened Afghans citizens, leaving them to question their information arsenic the U.S. and Taliban negotiated a bid deal.

September 7, 2019 – Trump Attempts to Meet With Taliban Leadership

Taliban attacks continued to escalate rapidly passim 2019. President Trump attempted to covertly conscionable with Taliban enactment connected Sept. 8, 2019, 4 days earlier the 18th day of the Sept. 11 attacks. The gathering was called disconnected aft a termination onslaught killed a U.S. work subordinate successful Kabul.

February 29, 2020 – Trump Administration Brokers Deal to Withdraw Troops

The Trump Administration brokered a woody with the Taliban successful aboriginal 2020 to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, successful speech for a committedness from the Taliban to not usage Afghanistan arsenic a violent base. Troops would gradually retreat implicit the people of 14 months nether the agreement.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, left, and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar shingle  hands aft  signing a bid    statement  during a ceremonial  successful  the Qatari superior  Doha connected  Feb. 29, 2020.

Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, left, and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar shingle hands aft signing a bid statement during a ceremonial successful the Qatari superior Doha connected Feb. 29, 2020.

April 14, 2021 – Biden Announces Full Withdrawal of Troops

Officially mounting an extremity to America’s longest war, President Joe Biden announced a afloat withdrawal of the country’s subject beingness successful Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th day of the war. Biden said that the U.S. achieved the mission’s extremity 10 years agone erstwhile Osama bin Laden was killed portion hiding retired successful Pakistan.

May 1, 2021 – U.S., NATO Begins to Withdraw Troops

The U.S. and NATO participate the last signifier of ending America’s longest warfare by opening the withdrawal of their remaining troops – astir 2,500-3,500 U.S. troops and astir 7,000 NATO soldiers – successful Afghanistan by Sept. 11.

April 2021 to August 2021 – Taliban Begins Massive Takeover of Afghanistan Districts

Taliban fighters seized powerfulness successful Afghanistan, sweeping crossed the state and taking power of large cities and territories arsenic Afghan officials conceded and U.S. allies evacuated.

July 2, 2021 – U.S. Relinquishes Control of Bagram Air Base

The U.S. handed implicit power of the Bagram Air Base to the Afghan military. The airfield served arsenic the halfway for American forces successful Afghanistan for 2 decades.

August 14, 2021 – Biden Sends Additional Troops to Help Evacuation and Withdrawal Efforts

To guarantee an “orderly and harmless drawdown,” President Biden authorized an additional 1,000 troops to assistance evacuate American and allied personnel from Afghanistan. The troops volition besides assistance pullout Afghans who worked with the subject passim the war.

August 16, 2021 – Kabul Falls to Taliban for a Second Time

Taliban militants overwhelm Afghanistan's cities wrong the substance of days. The Afghan authorities collapses, with the President of Afghanistan ceding powerfulness to the militants connected August 16. Kabul International Airport became a country of chaos arsenic radical go hopeless to fly Taliban rule.

The Panjshir Valley becomes the sole country not nether Taliban rule successful Afghanistan. Opposition leaders were seen gathering determination successful videos, including a apical authoritative from the erstwhile authorities and the lad of a slain rebel leader.

Photos: A Timeline of US Involvement successful Afghanistan

August 18, 2021 – Taliban Militants Violently End Afghan Protest

Taliban militants violently attacked a radical of Afghan protesters, sidesplitting 1 during the clash, aft the radical lowered the regime’s emblem successful the eastbound metropolis of Jalalabad. The onslaught came arsenic thousands of Afghans tried to fly aft the Taliban’s swift takeover, giving what galore feared to beryllium a glimpse into the country's destiny nether Taliban rule.

August 26, 2021 – Suicide Bombers Kill 13 U.S. Troops successful Afghanistan

Thirteen U.S. work members were killed extracurricular of Kabul’s airdrome aft termination bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans desperately trying to flee. The blasts came hours aft Western officials warned of a large attack, which besides killed 169 Afghans.

President Joe Biden vowed to hunt down the attackers and marque them pay. The Islamic State panic radical claimed work for the deadly attacks.

August 27, 2021 – U.S. Kills Two ‘ISIS-K Planners’ successful Retaliatory Airstrike

The U.S. launched an airstrike against the IS, sidesplitting 2 “ISIS-K planners.” The onslaught came aft what White House officials called indications of different onslaught successful the waning days of the evacuation deadline.

August 30, 2021 – Rockets Target Kabul Airport connected Eve of Evacuation Deadline

As galore arsenic 5 rockets were fired astatine Kabul’s airport conscionable 1 time earlier the deadline expired for each U.S. troops to retreat from Afghanistan. The missiles struck a adjacent vicinity and gunfire was heard afterward. ISIS-K besides claimed work for this attack.

August 31, 2021 – U.S. Completes Withdrawal, Ending 20-Year War in Afghanistan

The U.S. completed its afloat withdrawal of subject troops from Afghanistan, marking the extremity to the country’s longest warfare with a rushed and chaotic exit. Taliban militants celebrated Afghanistan’s caller “independence” with gunfire and fireworks arsenic the past acceptable of U.S. flights departed Kabul.

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Additional reporting by the Associated Press. Editing by Kelly Whitney.

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