KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN—On the morning of May 1 , an Afghan transport aircraft landed at this sprawling military base in the country's south. It was loaded with mortar shells, small-arms cartridges and 250-pound bombs to supply Afghan troops under frequent attack by the Taliban in the countryside. Later, at midnight, a grey U.S. C-130 transport aircraft taxied down the same runway, marking the end of the first official day of the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan . The cargo plane was filled with munitions, a giant flat screen television from a CIA base (known as Camp Gecko), pallets of equipment, and — in the real signal of the impending end of a long occupation — departing American troops. It was one of several aircraft that night removing what remained of the U.S. war here. Afghans continue fighting and dying with fleeting hopes of peace even while the Americans leave, adhering to a timeline laid out by President Joe Biden to fully withdraw by Sept 11. The decision was opposed by his generals but begrudgingly stencilled on whiteboards in U.S. bases across Afghanistan, such as Kandahar Airfield, a former Soviet base that has been one of the Americans' largest. Once the… Read full this story
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