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U.S. ends 20 year war with Afghanistan

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Jessica Smith joins Myles Udland and Brian Sozzi to discuss the end of the United States 20-year war in Afghanistan after the final evacuation flights departed Kabul airport and what the end of this war could mean for the U.S. and Afghanistan moving forward.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

MYLES UDLAND: All right, well, there are less than six hours until the month of August draws to a close over in Afghanistan. And US military personnel have been evacuated from the country. Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins us now to talk about what is next for US foreign policy in the wake of this withdrawal. Jess.

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Myles, US officials say that the military mission is over, but now the diplomatic mission has begun. All US troops are now out of Afghanistan. The last flights went out yesterday afternoon or just before midnight in Kabul. About 123,000 people were evacuated in the final weeks. But up to 200 Americans and thousands of Afghans who wanted to leave the country were left behind.

The head of US Central Command told us yesterday that they had maintained the ability to get people out up until the last minute, but people were not able to make it to the airport. The Taliban is now in complete control of the airport. And US officials say they'll continue to work to try and get Americans and allies out of the country.

They say they're going to work with international partners to pressure the Taliban to work and try to get those people out to make sure that they can safely get out of the country. Secretary of State Blinken did say yesterday that the US government will engage with the Taliban but only based on the United States vital national interest. Here's what he had to say. Let's watch.

ANTONY BLINKEN: But we will not do it on the basis of trust or faith. Every step we take will be based not on what a Taliban government says but what it does to live up to its commitments. The Taliban seeks international legitimacy and support. Our message is any legitimacy and any support will have to be earned.

JESSICA SMITH: And we're expecting to hear from President Biden later this afternoon. In a statement yesterday, he said he would address his decision to stick to this August 31st deadline. Of course, that decision has been criticized by many who said that the US should stay and make sure everyone gets out.

President Biden did say in his statement that there was the unanimous decision of the Joint Chiefs and the commanders on the ground to stick to the deadline, saying that they thought it was the best way to protect US troops and secure safe passage for civilians in the future who want to leave. We'll keep you updated on what President Biden has to say. Again, he's expected to speak in the 1 o'clock hour. Myles and Brian.

MYLES UDLAND: All right. And we'll have full coverage of those remarks as they come across. Yahoo Finance's Washington correspondent, Jessica Smith. Thanks for that update.