The withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan has reached cruising speed. Yesterday all the remaining German troops were transferred home; today, the Italians are. This brings an end to an operation that has lasted almost 20 years.
By September 11, the last American troops should also be out of Afghanistan.
In April of this year, NATO announced the departure of its troops. Shortly before that, US President Joe Biden had already done so. That withdrawal is now really picking up speed.
The last Italian troops left today. Italy was one of the NATO member states to have deployed the most troops to Afghanistan after the US, Turkey, the UK and Germany. In total, about 50,000 Italians were active there in 20 years. Among them, 53 were killed in fighting or accidents, and 723 were injured. The Italians were active in Kabul and in the western city of Herat.
Yesterday, the last German troops left their base in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif. From there, they flew back to Hanover in Germany via a stopover in Georgia. In total, no less than 150,000 Germans have been stationed in Afghanistan. Of these, 53 died, 35 of them in combat.
In recent years, NATO troops in Afghanistan were no longer directly involved in combat. They did participate in a training mission of the Afghan army. On September 11, US President Joe Biden also wants all US military personnel back home.