Biden promises to take American troops out of America by 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
— 2 minute read — By Sam Portillo
Joe Biden has announced that the U.S. Government intends to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by 11th September, exactly twenty years after the murderous 9/11 attacks which motivated America’s constant military presence in the Middle East.
Mr Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had set a deadline of May this year, but the new administration has reiterated that such a target was too ambitious and may have left the country vulnerable to a Taliban resurgence.
“We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives,” Biden said. “It’s time to end the forever war.”
Over 2,400 American personnel lost their lives in the twenty year conflict, while the government spent an estimated $2tn.
The Taliban were hostile to the decision to postpone after long negotiations with the Trump administration promised a prompter end to the conflict. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was critical but for the opposite reason, warning of the dangers of withdrawing U.S. troops from the unstable country at all and endorsing an indefinite occupation. “We lose another insurance policy against another 9/11,” he said.
A senior U.S. military official warned the Taliban not to take advantage of the situation by launching an attack on the retreating troops.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani promised to continue working with the U.S. to ensure a “smooth transition”, and welcomes the ongoing support from NATO for the peace efforts.
A diplomatic meeting in Istanbul between representatives of the international community and the Taliban was supposed to be held in April, but it too was postponed after the Taliban refused to attend.