Taliban Frees Thousands of Prisoners From Bagram. Al Qaeda Members Were Among Them.

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Posted: Aug 16, 2021 8:00 AM
Taliban Frees Thousands of Prisoners From Bagram. Al Qaeda Members Were Among Them.

Source: AP Photos/Massoud Hossaini

The Taliban seized the formerly U.S. controlled Bagram Air Base on Sunday, which was turned over to the Afghanistan government last month, freeing thousands of prisoners held at the base in the process.

According to the Associated Press, there were approximately 5,000 prisoners being held at the base, including members of al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban.

In May, William Lloyd Stearman, who served on the National Security Council staff under four presidents, detailed the significance of Bagram.

The Biden administration’s decision to remove all U.S. forces from Afghanistan could cost the country an important strategic asset, the Bagram Air Base. For years, the base has been conducting tactical air operations in support of American and Afghan troops. Bagram is 40 miles north of Kabul and is impressive in size: The installation covers about 30 square miles. Its 12,000-foot runway can accommodate U.S. military aircraft of any size.

The location is also strategic, to say the least: Bagram is about 400 miles west of China and about 500 miles east of Iran. This is a good place to have American assets. Keeping the base open could hardly be called a provocation, given it’s been around for years. But manning this base requires a continued military presence in Afghanistan, which would also ensure the country doesn’t return to being a base for terrorists. (WSJ)

Salem radio host Hugh Hewitt reminds that it didn't have to be this way.

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