U.S. Troops Are Leaving Afghanistan, but Al Qaeda Remains

KABUL, Afghanistan — In a hidden corner of Hamid Karzai International Airport, half a dozen military officers sat at their desks, staring glassily at monitors showing high-resolution video feeds and surveillance footage beamed from drones, warplanes and helicopters across the country.

It was a tableau often seen in years past, but on this recent afternoon there was a crucial difference: The Afghans were alone, without the American forces that have backed them in a 20-year war.

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