By Chauncey Devega, Salon

[Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Let us pause to consider the true cost of America’s policies in the Middle East – and around the world. – Progressive Hub]

Who wants to be the last person to die in a war?

Last week, Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, “became the last U.S. soldier to board the final C-17 transport plane flight out of Afghanistan a minute before midnight on Monday,” as a Reuters report described the moment:

Taken with a night vision device, the ghostly green and black image of the general striding toward the aircraft waiting on the tarmac at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Airport was released by the Pentagon hours after the United States ended its 20-year military presence in Afghanistan. As a moment in history, the image of Donahue’s departure could be cast alongside that of a Soviet general, who led an armored column across the Friendship Bridge to Uzbekistan, when the Red Army made its final exit from Afghanistan in 1989.

America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan is now technically over.

There are still hundreds of American civilians in Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, there are still American covert operatives in Afghanistan from the CIA and other agencies. The thousands of Afghans who fought alongside American and allied forces or otherwise aided them are still trying to escape the Taliban, who now control the country and will likely pursue deadly reprisals.

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