President Joe Biden will fully withdraw American troops from Afghanistan this year, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, officially ending the longest war ever waged against a foreign power by the United States.
The president aims to have all remaining service members – roughly 2,500 – returned home by the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC, which killed nearly 3,000 people and sparked the failed War on Terror.
“Biden’s decision comes after an administration review of U.S. options in Afghanistan, where U.S.-midwived peace talks have failed to advance as hoped and the Taliban remains a potent force despite two decades of effort by the United States to defeat the militants and establish stable, democratic governance. The war has cost trillions of dollars in addition to the lives of more than 2,000 U.S. service members and at least 100,000 Afghan civilians,” wrote the Post.
“This is the immediate, practical reality that our policy review discovered. If we break the May 1st deadline negotiated by the previous administration with no clear plan to exit, we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest,” a source familiar with the Biden Administration’s deliberations said. “We’re going to zero troops by September.”
The person added that “the reality is that the United States has big strategic interests in the world, like nonproliferation, like an increasingly aggressive and assertive Russia, like North Korea and Iran, whose nuclear programs pose a threat to the United States. The main threats to the American homeland are actually from other places: from Africa, from parts of the Middle East — Syria and Yemen.”
They added that just because “Afghanistan just does not rise to the level of those other threats at this point, that does not mean we’re turning away from Afghanistan. We are going to remain committed to the government, remain committed diplomatically. But in terms of where we will be investing force posture, our blood and treasure, we believe that other priorities merit that investment.”
Meanwhile, the US remains committed to peace-keeping efforts and will continue to offer support to the Afghan government and its security forces.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.