After 20 years, $2 trillion dollars and an estimated 250,000 lives: US counts the cost of its Afghan misadventure

The resurgence of Isis-K and its suicide attacks on Kabul Airport has pushed the US into an uneasy alliance with the Taliban, and has left many wondering what, if anything, has been achieved in Afghanistan in the last two decades

29th August, 2021
After 20 years, $2 trillion dollars and an estimated 250,000 lives: US counts the cost of its Afghan misadventure
Relatives of one of those killed in the suicide attacks at Kabul Airport, bury his body on Martyrs Hill on the outskirts of Kabul. Picture: Getty

It was the grimmest of groundhog days. On Thursday evening, shortly after 5pm local time, a visibly shaken Joe Biden echoed the defiant declaration of another shell-shocked rookie president 20 years earlier.

"We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay," Biden said in a pledge that was aimed squarely at Islamic State Khorasan (Isis-K), which claimed responsibility for the attack on Kabul Airport earlier that day.

"We...

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