The Pentagon announced on Monday that the United States has completed its evacuation mission at the international airport in Afghanistan, officially bringing an end to the longest war in American history. Coalition forces were racing to meet the Aug. 31 deadline imposed by the Taliban to withdraw U.S. troops following a conflict that has spanned over four presidencies.

U.S. Central Command leader Gen. Kenneth McKenzie announced that the last C-17 military transport aircraft carrying U.S. citizens and eligible Afghans who assisted the country during the two-decade war had left Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul at 3:29 p.m. EDT. He added that Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson were aboard the final flight. The departure of the last C-17 signals “the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after Sept. 11, 2001,” McKenzie said.

Editorial credit: john smith 2021 /

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