Vice President Joe Biden was asked about the abrupt end to the U.S. military’s longest war on Thursday during a speech in California. The vice president said that the military operation, which has been ongoing since 2001, was no longer necessary as the armed group  that was responsible for the attacks had been taken out.

The Obama administration has announced that U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of the year, with the intent of bringing the troops out of the country by 2016. “Several months ago, President Obama made the decision after careful consideration to adjust our strategy … to meet our objectives and the realities on the ground,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a letter to the families of troops. This decision leaves U.S. forces in Afghanistan until at least the end of 2014, and possibly beyond.

From 9/11, to the fierce ground fighting, to the complete withdrawal of the United States, this is what happened.

9/11

11. September 2001

Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, launches the largest terrorist attack on American soil.

Legend World Trade Center reduced to rubble

Photos are copyrighted by Getty.

Four planes were hijacked. Two of them fly to the World Trade Center in New York, which then collapses. One crashes into the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C., the other into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died.

First air strikes

7. October 2001

The US-led coalition is bombing Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in Afghanistan. Targets are Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.

The Taliban, who came to power after a decade of Soviet occupation and civil war, refuse to hand over bin Laden. Their anti-aircraft guns and small fleet of fighters have been destroyed.

Kabul case

13. November 2001

The Northern Alliance, an anti-Taliban insurgent group backed by coalition forces, moves into Kabul as the Taliban leave the city.

Subtitled by the Northern Alliance, supported by the coalition, tanks roll into Kabul as the Taliban retreat.

Photos are copyrighted by Getty.

Until the 13th. By November 2001, all Taliban had fled or been neutralised. Other cities are falling fast.

New Constitution

26. January 2004.

After lengthy negotiations in the Loya Jirga, the grand assembly, the new Afghan constitution was promulgated. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.

Hamid Karzai becomes president

7. December 2004

Image caption Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president.

Photos are copyrighted by Getty.

Hamid Karzai, leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, will be the first president under the new constitution. He served two five-year terms as president.

British troops deployed in Helmand

May 2006

British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south.

Caption Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first British unit in Helmand.

Photos are copyrighted by Getty.

Their initial mission is to support reconstruction projects, but they soon become involved in the fighting. More than 450 British soldiers have died during the conflict in Afghanistan.

Obama golf

17. February 2009

US President Barack Obama is calling for a significant increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At their peak, they numbered about 140,000 people.

Image caption American troops are engaged in heavy fighting in the south of the country.

Photos are copyrighted by Getty.

The buildup is modeled after the U.S. strategy in Iraq, where U.S. forces have focused on protecting the civilian population and eliminating insurgents.

Osama bin Laden killed

2. May 2011.

Caption Bin Laden tracked down in a camp less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy.

Photos are copyrighted by Getty.

An Al Qaeda leader is killed during a U.S. Navy SEAL raid on a camp in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is taken away and buried in the sea. The operation ended a 10-year hunt by the CIA.  The confirmation that Bin Laden was residing on Pakistani soil fuels US accusations that Pakistan is an untrustworthy ally in the fight against terrorism.

Death of Mullah Omar

23. April 2013.

Mullah Mohammed Omar, founder of the Taliban movement, died. His death was kept secret for over two years.

Image caption The Taliban leader was reportedly injured by shrapnel in his right eye in the 1980s.

The images are protected by EPA copyright

According to Afghan intelligence, Mullah Omar is dying in a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi due to health problems. Pakistan denies he was in the country.

NATO ceases hostilities

28. December 2014.

NATO ends combat operations in Afghanistan at a ceremony in Kabul. The United States is withdrawing thousands of troops after the operation is over.  Most that remain focus on training and supporting Afghan security forces.

The resurrection of the Taliban

2015

The Taliban begins a series of suicide bombings, car bombs and other attacks. The Parliament of Kabul and the city of Kunduz are under attack. Islamic State fighters launch operations in Afghanistan.

Caption Kabul International Airport was inaugurated on the 10th. August 2015 met with

Photos are copyrighted by Getty.

Notice of death

January 25, 2019

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says more than 45,000 members of his country’s security forces have been killed since he took office in 2014. This figure is much higher than previously thought.

US signs deal with Taliban

29. February 2020

The United States and the Taliban sign an agreement for peace in Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar. The United States and NATO allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants comply with the agreement.

Image caption The agreement sets out the timetable for full withdrawal from the EU.

Photos are copyrighted by Getty.

Date of last recall

11. September 2021

American troops have until the 11th… September 2021, exactly 20 years after 9/11, to withdraw from Afghanistan. All indications are that the withdrawal could take place before the official deadline.

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One crashes into the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C., the other into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people were killed,timeline__element_6-header:First air strikes,timeline__element_6-date:7. October 2001,text_7value:The US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in Afghanistan. Targets are Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad,text_8-value:The Taliban, who came to power after a decade of Soviet occupation followed by civil war, refuse to hand over bin Laden. Their air defenses and a small fleet of fighter jets are destroyed,timeline__element_9-header:u003cstrong> u003c/strong>Kabul falls,timeline__element_9-date:November 13, 2001,text_10-value:The Northern Alliance, an anti-Taliban rebel group backed by coalition forces, enters Kabul as the Taliban flee the city,figure_11-caption:Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters drive tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat,figure_11-attribution:Getty,figure_11-src:https://cfiles.bbci.co.uk/3DEE/production/_119145851_gettyimages_na.jpg,text_12-value:On the 13th. By November 2001, all Taliban had fled or been neutralised. Other cities are dropping fast,timeline__element_13-header:u003cstrong> u003c/strong>New Constitution,timeline__element_13-date:26. January 2004,text_14value:After long negotiations in a Loya Jirga, a large meeting, the new constitution of Afghanistan is signed. Constitution paves way for presidential election in October 2004,timeline__element_15-header:Hamid Karzai becomes president,timeline__element_15-date:December 7, 2004,figure_16-caption:Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president,figure_16-attribution:Getty,figure_16-src:https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/8C0E/production/_119145853_gettyimages_karzai.jpg,text_17-value:Hamid Karzai, leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, becomes the first president under the new constitution He has been president for two five-year terms…., timeline__element_18-header:British troops deployed in Helmand,timeline__element_18-date:May 2006,text_19-value:British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south,figure_20-caption:Soldiers from the Parachute Regiment lead the first British contingent in Helmand,figure_20-attribution:Getty,figure_20-src:https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/B31E/production/_119145854_gettyimages-154419188.jpg,text_21-value:Leur initial mission is to support reconstruction projects, but they are soon drawn into battle. More than 450 British soldiers have died in the conflict in Afghanistan,timeline__element_22-header:Obama’s surge,timeline__element_22-date:17. February 2009,text_23value:US President Barack Obama announced a significant increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At the height of the crisis, there were about 140,000,figure_24-caption:U.S. troops involved in heavy fighting in the south,figure_24-attribution:Getty,figure_24-src:https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/DA2E/production/_119145855_gettyimages_surge.jpg,text_25-value:Die The U.S. strategy in Iraq, in which U.S. troops focused on both protecting civilians and taking out insurgents, served as a model for what is known as the surge,timeline__element_26-header:Osama bin Laden killed,timeline__element_26-date:2. 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Two of them fly to the World Trade Center in New York, which then collapses. One crashes into the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C., the other into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3000 people lost their lives.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline>n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n First Air Raidp u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>7. October 2001u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>A US-led coalition attacks the Taliban. A US-led coalition is bombing Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in Afghanistan. Targets are Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.u003c/p>n n n n u003cp>The Taliban, who came to power after a decade of Soviet occupation followed by civil war, refuse to hand over bin Laden. Their air defenses and small fleet of fighter jets are destroyed.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline>n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n u003cstrong> u003c/strong>The Fall of Kabul u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n 13. November 2001u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>The Northern Alliance, an anti-Taliban insurgent group backed by coalition forces, enters Kabul as the Taliban retreat.u003c/p>n n u003cfigure class=figure>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=figure__imgn src=https://z5t8f6c6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1625671145_548_Taliban-battle-their-way-into-western-Afghan-city.202107061750.jpegn alt=Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters roll tanks into Kabul as Taliban retreat /n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=figure__figcaption freeze-frame>n u003cspan class=off-screen>captionu003c/span>Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters roll tanks into Kabul.u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=off-screen>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n u003cp>On 13. By November 2001, all Taliban had fled or been neutralised. Other cities are rapidly withdrawing.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n u003cstrong>n u003c/strong>New Constitutionp u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n 26. January 2004u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>After lengthy negotiations in a Loya Jirga or grand assembly, the new Afghan constitution is promulgated. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n Hamid Karzai becomes president. u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>7. December 2004u003c/time>n u003c/p>n u003cfigure class=figure>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=figure__imgn src=https://z5t8f6c6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1625671145_587_Taliban-battle-their-way-into-western-Afghan-city.202107061750.jpegn alt=Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before he became president />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=figure__figcaption freeze-frame >n u003cspan class=off-screen>captionu003c/span>Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before he became president.Before becoming president, Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar. n u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=off-screen>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n u003cp>Hamid Karzai, leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, becomes the first president under the new constitution. He served two five-year terms as president.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n British troops on mission in Helmand u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n May 2006u003c/time>n u003c/p>n u003cp>British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south of the country.u003c/p>n n n u003cfigure class=figure>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=figure__imgn src=https://z5t8f6c6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1625671146_716_Taliban-battle-their-way-into-western-Afghan-city.202107061750.jpegn alt=Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first British unit in Helmand />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=figure__figcaption freeze-frame >n u003cspan class=off-…screen>Captionu003c/span>Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first British Helmeted Unit in u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=off-screen>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n u003cp>Their initial task is to support reconstruction projects, but they soon become involved in combat operations. More than 450 British soldiers have been killed during the conflict in Afghanistan.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline>n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n Obama surgeon u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>17. February 2009u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>President Barack Obama has agreed to a significant increase in the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan. At their peak, they numbered about 140,000 people.u003c/p>n n n n n u003cfigure class=figure>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=figure__imgn src=https://z5t8f6c6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1625671146_604_Taliban-battle-their-way-into-western-Afghan-city.202107061750.jpegn alt=U.S. Fights Fierce Battles in the South>n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=figure__figcaption freeze-frame>n u003cspan class=off-screen>captionu003c/span>U.S. Fights Fierce Battles in the South>nThe United States is fighting fierce battles in the southhn u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=off-screen>Image copyright byu003c/span>Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figcaption>n n n u003cp>The so-called activation is modeled after the U.S. strategy in Iraq, where US forces focused on both protecting civilians and taking out insurgents.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline>n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n Osama bin Laden killed u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n 2. May 2011u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cfigure class=figure>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=figure__imgn src=https://z5t8f6c6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Taliban-battle-their-way-into-western-Afghan-city.202107061750.pngn alt=Dumpster found in compound less than a kilometer from Pakistani military academy />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=figure__figcaption gel-brevier >n u003cspan class=off-.screen>Captionu003c/span>Bin Laden was found in a compound less than a kilometer from a Pakistani military academy u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=off-.screen>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n u003cp>The al-Qaeda leader was killed during an attack by US SEALs on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is taken away and buried in the sea. The operation ended a 10-year hunt by the CIA.  The confirmation that Bin Laden was staying on Pakistani soil reinforces US accusations that Pakistan is an unreliable ally in the fight against terrorism.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline>n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n Mullah Tod Omarna u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n April 23, 2013u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, is dying. His death was kept secret for more than two years.u003c/p>n n n n n u003cfigure class=figure>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=figure__imgn src=https://z5t8f6c6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1625671147_683_Taliban-battle-their-way-into-western-Afghan-city.202107061750.pngn alt=The Taliban leader was reportedly injured in his right eye by shrapnel in the 1980s>n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=figure__figcaption gel-brevier >n u003cspan class=off-.screen>captionu003c/span>The Taliban leader was reportedly wounded in his right eye by shrapnel in the 1980 attackn u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=off-screen>Image copyright byu003c/span>n EPAn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figcaption>n n u003cp>Afghan intelligence agencies report, Mullah Omar lies dying in a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Pakistan denies he was in the country.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n nato ends combat operationsp u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n 28. December 2014u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>A celebration in Kabul, NATO ends combat mission in Afghanistan. The United States is withdrawing thousands of troops after the operation is over.  Most that remain focus on training and supporting Afghan security forces.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n Taliban revive u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>2015u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>The Taliban carry out a series of suicide bombings, car bombs and other attacks. The Parliament of Kabul and the city of Kunduz are under attack. Fighters of Islamic State launch operations in Afghanistan.u003c/p>n n n u003cfigure class=figure>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=figure__imgn src=https://z5t8f6c6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1625671148_906_Taliban-battle-their-way-into-western-Afghan-city.202107061750.jpegn alt=Kabul International Airport hit on August 10, 2015 />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=figure__figcaption freeze-frame >n u003cspan class=off-screen>captionu003c/span>Kabul International Airport hit on August 10, 2015n u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=off-…screen>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n u003c/div>n u003cdiv class=timeline>n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n 25. January 2019u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said more than 45,000 members of his country’s security forces have been killed since he became leader in 2014. This number is much higher than previously thought.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=timeline>n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n US signs agreement with Taliban u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n 29. February 2020u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>The United States and the Taliban sign an agreement in Doha, Qatar, to bring peace to Afghanistan. The US and NATO allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants comply with the agreement.u003c/p>n n n n u003cfigure class=figure>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=figure__imgn src=https://z5t8f6c6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1625671148_311_Taliban-battle-their-way-into-western-Afghan-city.202107061750.jpegn alt=Agreement sets timetable for full withdrawal>n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=figure__figcaption freeze-frame>n u003cspan class=off-screen>captionu003c/span>Agreement sets timetable for full withdrawal>n u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=off-screen>n u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n u003cspan class=figure__attribution>n…screen>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n u003c/div>n u003cdiv class=timeline>n u003cdiv class=timeline__indicator>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=timeline__header>n Date of last subtractionn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=timeline__date>n u003ctime>n 11. 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