US Poised to Leave Bagram, A Testament to Afghan Mission Creep

Soviet-made airfield has been a base in endless wars

As the US continues its withdrawal from Afghanistan, they are set to leave a very big site behind. Bagram A.F.B. has been the de facto base on the US occupation for decades now.

A Soviet-made airfield in the 1950s, the site hosted the failed Soviet occupation. When the US showed up, it started expanding precipitously. As new US missions were added to the war, Bagram grew with it.

In 2021, the US is leaving behind basically a small city, and a reminder of all the things the US wanted to do in Afghanistan, broadly things that never got done. It will be turned over to the Afghan government, even if it’s bigger and costlier than Afghanistan is liable to have use for.

Either way, it won’t be America’s problem, beyond the US probably bankrolling whatever the Afghans end up doing with it. The last US troops will be out in a matter of days.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.