The Bagram Airfield is now under the control of the Afghan National Security and Defense Force.
The U.S. inherited the Bagram Airfield in 2001 to establish it as a base of operations to fight against the Taliban and hunt down the al-Qaida masterminds of 9/11.
Meeting With Afghanistan
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General Austin S. Miller, met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday, July 2nd. According to a tweet from the Afghan presidential palace, they both discussed “continued U.S. assistance and cooperation with Afghanistan, particularly in supporting the defense and security forces.”
No specifics were given. However, the U.S. committed to paying $4 billion annually towards Afghani national security. This will continue until 2024.
After the quick, overnight American departure, dozens of local looters stormed through the defenseless gates. This comes as a result of no coordination with local officials.
“They were stopped, and some have been arrested. The rest have been cleared from the base,” said Darwaish Raufi, Afghanistan’s district administrator for Bagram. He also explained that the looters ransacked several buildings before Afghani forces arrived and took control.
Withdrawal from Bagram Airfield
The withdrawal from Bagram Airfield indicates that the last remaining U.S. troops have left Afghanistan or are near departure. This results from President Biden’s promise of complete withdrawal out of Afghanistan by September 11th, 2021.
Back in 2001, they found Bagram in ruins, a field of crumbling buildings, a perimeter of demolished fences, a scene caused by war and artillery. The airfield was abandoned after a string of brutal battles between the Taliban and Mujahedeen warlords.
After years of operations, the base consists of two runways, the most recently built lengths at 12,000 feet long, costing $96 million. A security think tank called GlobalSecurity, states the enormous base has multiple support buildings, a control tower, three large hangars, 110 revetments (areas for aircraft protected by blast walls), and a prison facility. The base also includes a trauma center, a 50-bed hospital, three movie theatres, and a dental clinic.