Anniversary of the Withdrawal of the Last American Soldier in Afghanistan Date in the current year: August 31, 2024

Anniversary of the Withdrawal of the Last American Soldier in Afghanistan The anniversary of the withdrawal of the last American soldier is one of the public holidays established by the Taliban government of Afghanistan. It is celebrated annually on August 31.

The contemporary history of Afghanistan has been plagued by crisis after crisis for many decades: the Afghani Civil War of 1928–1928, the Afghan tribal revolts of 1944–1947, the 1973 Afghan coup d’état that ended the monarchy and resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Afghanistan, the Saur Revolution of 1978, the Soviet-Afghan War of 1979–1989, and three civil wars in a row. Since the collapse of the Kingdom of Afghanistan in 1973, the country has been in a near-continuous state of armed conflict.

The first Afghan Civil War broke out after the final withdrawal of the Soviet military from Afghanistan on February 15, 1989 and lasted until April 1992. It was fought between the Republic of Afghanistan and various Islamist rebel groups (mujahideen). The mujahideen won and attempted to form an interim government, but disagreements between mujahideen groups immediately triggered the second Afghan Civil War, which took place between April 1992 and September 1996.

It was the second Afghan Civil War that saw the emergence of the Taliban, a Pashtun nationalist and Islamic fundamentalist movement; its initial supporters that helped the Taliban gain power were Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. In September 1996, the Taliban seized control of most of Afghanistan, including Kabul, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban-ruled Afghanistan became the new main base for al-Qaeda.

The Taliban victory ended the second Afghan Civil War and started the third one, fought between the Taliban government and the Northern Alliance, an alliance of several groups that controlled much of northern Afghanistan. After five years of clashes between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, the United States put an end to the civil war by invading Afghanistan.

The 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was triggered by the September 11 attacks. It started a war that would last for two decades. The US-led forces quickly expelled the Taliban from major cities and established the Afghan Interim Administration. However, the Taliban spent several years regrouping and launched an insurgency against the Afghan government and NATO-led coalition troops.

Negotiations between the United States and the Taliban began in 2018, during the Trump administration. On February 29, 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed the Doha Agreement that did not involve the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

According to the terms of the deal, the United States stopped supporting the Afghan military in its offensive operations and began to withdraw its troops. This gave the Taliban the opportunity to launch a major offensive in May 2021 and recapture most of the country. On August 15, 2021, the Taliban captured Kabul and overthrew the government of President Ashraf Ghani.

On August 30, 2021, the last US military planes had left Kabul airport. To commemorate the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban-led government of the newly re-established Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan declared August 31 a national holiday.

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