On Wednesday, after a nearly two-month pause, another evacuation flight departed the country of Afghanistan en route for the United States.
According to CNN, the flight was a Qatar Airways flight that departed from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, paid for by the United States government, with an unknown number of American citizens on board. It is the first such flight since November.
Earlier the same day, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described Afghanistan as “hanging on by a thread,” calling for more humanitarian aid for the country as it continues descending into chaos. It had been previously reported that as many as 80 Americans were still trapped in the country behind enemy lines and trying to escape.
Ned Price, a spokesman for the Department of State, noted that there are also at least 150 American citizens who are still in the country but do not want to leave.
This reflects the ongoing fallout from the collapse of Afghanistan over five months ago. As the longest war in American history was nearing its end, Joe Biden unilaterally decided to alter the conditions of the peace agreement previously signed between the United States, Afghanistan, and the Taliban in February of 2020 under President Donald Trump; while the agreement originally called for all American forces to withdraw from the country by May of 2021, Biden arbitrarily extended the withdrawal deadline to the symbolic date of September 11th, before revising it to August 31st.
In response to the United States breaking its side of the deal first, the Taliban responded by launching a nationwide offensive that quickly saw numerous regions fall to Taliban control. On August 15th, 16 days before the planned withdrawal date, the Taliban took the capital city of Kabul, and Afghani President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Throughout the remainder of August, Kabul and Afghanistan as a whole descended into absolute chaos, with panicked civilians storming the Hamid Karzai International Airport in desperate attempts to board American aircraft that were fleeing the country; thousands of unvetted refugees were allowed to depart on some flights, sometimes even before American citizens who were actively trying to leave as well. The city also fell victim to terrorist attacks, including a suicide bombing at the airport which killed 13 American servicemembers.
The fall of Afghanistan, which drew many comparisons to the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, elicited widespread condemnation from around the world, with the Biden Administration being blamed for poor planning and execution of the withdrawal process, and for fatal miscalculations which assumed that the Taliban would not take control.