This article is the English version of: Louis Gautier, « Fin de partie : retour sur l’interventionnisme militaire occidental, 1991-2021 », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 87, Issue 4, 2021.
On August 31, 2021, after twenty years of war against the Taliban, American troops withdrew from Afghanistan. This brought an end to the longest conflict ever waged by the United States (US), and marked the final phase of disengagement of the US’s military resources, which had been deployed on a massive scale in the Middle East since 2001. It indicated an operational change in the fight against terrorism, now no longer an open declared war, but once again a covert war. Most commentators drew a line under the event as an end to the sequence that began on September 11, 2001. But on a more fundamental level, the withdrawal from Afghanistan signaled an end to the policy of military interventionism pursued by the West since 1991.
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