Biden's plan is not to withdraw from Afghanistan but to full privatise the US military presence there, to keep up the illusion of withdrawing without losing influence in the region. Biden has aimed to withdraw the 2,500 official US troops and the additional 6,000 NATO troops, but as of January 2021 over 18,000 private military contractors remain in Afghanistan according to a Defense Department report, including US Special Forces, mercenaries, and intelligence operatives. One of these companies that profited from this arrangement is DynCorp International, which received 69 percent of all State Department funding between 2002 and 2013, adding up to over $7 billion in government contracts by 2019.
These contracts are unlikely to change regardless of which way the political winds are blowing, especially baring in mind a leaked internal Pentagon memo referring to Afghanistan as the “Saudi Arabia of lithium” and the massive reserves of gold, iron, copper, cobalt and many other precious . These personnel will still be able to man drones and aircraft, aircraft carriers in the region, or operate cruise missiles based on ships and submarines in Afghanistan. The CIA and Special Forces have become intwined in tribal conflict and sectarian feuds in Afghanistan and covert missions will probably continue despite the US winding down in Afghanistan, much like they did historically in Laos. This is something we have seen even as the US has started leaving Afghanistan, American military contractor firms are advertising hundreds of new jobs in the country despite everyone in the world solely concentrating on the evacuation of US troops.