Biden announces troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11
CNN – President Joe Biden announced his decision to end America’s longest war on Wednesday, saying the conflict with Afghanistan no longer aligned with America’s priorities.
The president said he would withdraw US troops before Sept. 11, which will be the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that launched the war in the first place.
“War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said during his remarks from the White House Treaty Room, the same location from which President George W. Bush had announced the war was beginning in October 2001.
“We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives,” Biden went on. “Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is degraded in Afghanistan and it’s time to end the forever war.”
Biden said his deadline is absolute, even if conditions on the ground worsen.
Officials said that after two decades of war, it was clear to the President that throwing more time and money at Afghanistan’s problems wasn’t going to work, even as senior military and national security advisers cautioned against a full withdrawal.
“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” Biden said.
“I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats,” he went on. “I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”
In line with Trump’s agreement with the Taliban, Biden said the withdrawal will begin on May 1. Some US troops will remain to protect American diplomats. Officials did not give an exact number of how many troops will stay behind.
American humanitarian and diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan will continue, as the US desires to support peace efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Biden determined the war in Afghanistan that has killed some 2,300 US troops and cost more than $2 trillion.
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