An end to the longest war in the US
The last US troops left Afghanistan late last night, ending a 20-year occupation that began shortly after September 11, cost more than $2 trillion, cost more than 170,000 lives and ultimately failed to defeat the Taliban, the Islamic State militants who allowed Al Qaeda to operate there.
Five US C-17 cargo planes took off from the airport in Kabul just before midnight, completing a hasty evacuation that left tens of thousands of Afghans, including former members of the security forces and many with valid visas to enter the US. Congress has become deeply involved in helping to arrange evacuations.
“A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun,” said Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State. “It is one in which we will lead with our diplomacy. The military mission is over.”
To the ground: Jubilant Taliban fighters and their supporters reveled in the victory as the news broke. In the early hours of this morning, celebratory gunfire broke out over Kabul, with the arcs of tracer patterns illuminating the night sky. Watch scenes from Afghanistan.
Analysis: For the fifth time since the Soviet invasion in 1979, one order has collapsed and another has risen, our reporter writes. What followed each of those times was a descent into revenge, reckoning and, ultimately, a new cycle of disorder and war.
The ripple effects of pandemic disruption
Pandemic-related supply chain disruptions should now be resolved. Instead, the world is still short of everything – and likely will be for some time to come, as delays, shortages and rising costs penalize businesses large and small.
Just as the coronavirus crisis has proved intractable and unpredictable, the turmoil in international trade is taking longer than many expected as shortages and delays in some products made it impossible to make others.
The world has learned a painful lesson in how interconnected economies are over great distances — how a shipping container that can’t be unloaded in Los Angeles because too many dockers are quarantined is a container that can’t be loaded with soybeans in Iowa, which in turn is a shortage of fodder in Southeast Asia.
Case Study: Kirsten Gjesdal, owner of a kitchen supply store in Brookings, SD, has had to completely rethink how she stores her goods due to delays. “It’s crazy,” she said. “It’s definitely not going to be normal anymore.”
citable: “There is no end in sight,” said Alan Holland, CEO of Keelvar, a company based in Cork, Ireland, that makes software used to manage supply chains. “Everyone should assume that we will have a longer period of disruption.”
Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.
In other developments:
Hurricane Ida leaves thousands of beaches behind
Hurricane Ida left more than a million people, including most New Orleans residents, without electricity, more than 300,000 without water and some 2,000 people in shelters. At least three people died in the storm, and hundreds called on authorities to be rescued.
New Orleans was spared from catastrophic flooding, thanks in part to the $14.5 billion flood protection system built around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
President Biden promised the people of Louisiana and Mississippi that his administration would be there to help them recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Ida “for as long as it takes.” More than 5,000 National Guard troops have been deployed to assist in the search and rescue.
First person: In Houma, La., a small town about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans, Jazmine Carter, 20, said she and her parents had watched the scene unfold in horror as power lines flew around them. “Trees were falling everywhere – it was scary,” she said.
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On the Rolling Stones’ first trip to New York, Charlie Watts’ bandmates hit the Apollo. Watts, the band’s drummer, third from right, instead watched jazz greats in the clubs he’d dreamed of as a boy: he saw Charles Mingus in Birdland, Gene Krupa at the Metropole, and Sonny Rollins, Earl Hines and Miles Davis.
The dogs of 9/11
Ricky, a rat terrier, could squeeze into tight spaces. Trakr, a German Shepherd, combed the wreckage for two days, then collapsed from smoke inhalation, exhaustion and burns. (He recovered.) Riley, a 4-year-old golden retriever, above, helped locate the bodies of several firefighters.
The efforts of hundreds of search and rescue dogs that killed themselves in the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center are commemorated in an exhibit at New York’s American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, Sarah Bahr reports.
While there were not many survivors amid the destruction, the dogs’ dedication to their work became an inspiring sight to medical workers and to others who witnessed the urgent rescue effort.
“The search and rescue dogs did not rescue people from the pile,” said the museum director. “But I think they saved the people who were looking to some extent.”
Read more about the dogs here.
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