President Joe Biden is slated to withdraw all remaining United States troops from Afghanistan by September 11. This date would be the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that prompted the US' involvement in its longest war.
Biden: We Will Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan
An estimated 2,500 US troops remain in Afghanistan. Around 1,000 more special operations forces are also reportedly in the country. There were over 100,000 at the war's peak in 2011.
Having concluded that there is no military solution to the security and political problems threatening Afghanistan and set on focusing on more pressing national security challenges, Biden's administration will formally declare on Wednesday that US troops will withdraw from the country before the 20th anniversary, according to a senior administration official. The withdrawal extends the United States troop presence past the May 1 deadline scheduled by former President Donald Trump's administration in a negotiation with the Taliban. This will only be heald in a matter of months.
Biden is slated to formally make an announcement on Wednesday. There are currently an estimated 2,500 US troops in the country. They serve alongside 7,000 other foreign troops in union with a Nato coalition. The majority of the Nato allies are potentially to withdraw in coordination with the United States, reported The Guardian.
The troop reduction will commence before May 1. The deadline is for complete withdrawal as outlined in a negotiation the Trump administration reached with the Taliban. Biden's decision comes after three months of Afghanistan policy review.
The decision is reportedly significant. Biden is the fourth president to supervise the war. However, if all goes to plan, he will be the first to end the war, reported Vox.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity. According to the official, "We will reposition our counterterrorism capabilities retaining significant assets in the region to counter the potential reemergence of a terrorist threat to the homeland from Afghanistan and to hold the Taliban to its commitment to ensure Al Qaeda does not once again threaten the United States or our interests or our allies," reported CNBC.
The withdrawal would miss a deadline of May 1 that the Trump administration had negotiation in 2020 with the Taliban. It involved provisions for peace talks between Taliban and Afghanistan's government that have since faltered. Also, according to the official, the president had arrived at that determination following a thorough policy review. He thinks that the threat to the United States emanating from Afghanistan is at a level that could be addressed without a persistent military footprint in the nation.
The president has been pondering over the decision for months with his advisers. He signaled that he did not think US troops must remain in the nation long past the deadline.
NATO troops would also adhere in accordance with the same withdrawal timeline. It is probable that US troops will be withdrawn prior to September 11. The date was the final possible time when the remaining personnel would leave. The US had reportedly communicated to the Taliban "in no uncertain terms" that attacks on US troops amid the withdrawal process would be retaliated.