New York Daily News
President Biden will pull all remaining American troops out of Afghanistan by this year’s 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the White House said Tuesday, pushing back a previous deadline despite threats of violence from extremists in the war-torn country.
The withdrawal order, which Biden is expected to officially announce in a speech Wednesday, means thousands of U.S. soldiers will remain in Afghanistan past a May 1 deadline set by former President Donald Trump for a full troop draw-down.
The Taliban, which has been fighting with U.S. troops on and off since the Afghanistan War broke out in 2001, threatened last year to renew attacks on American soldiers if all foreign forces weren’t out of the country by May 1. It’s unclear if the Taliban will follow through on those threats in light of Biden’s plan to withdraw troops completely by Sept. 11, 2021 instead.
The Washington Post first reported Biden’s planned announcement.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later confirmed Biden will deliver a speech Wednesday on “the way forward” in Afghanistan.
“There is not a military solution in Afghanistan. We have been there for far too long,” Psaki said.
More than 3,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Afghanistan.
American troops have been there in some capacity since late 2001, when the U.S. invaded after accusing the Taliban of providing a safe haven for al-Qaeda in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Nearing its 20th anniversary, the Afghanistan War is the longest-running military conflict in American history.
Past administrations have unsuccessfully tried to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan.
But withdrawals have been complicated over concerns that the Taliban could retake control of the country, as the Afghan government remains in need of foreign support to operate.
Hawkish foreign policy experts have long warned that an abrupt U.S. exit would endanger achievements made in Afghanistan over the past couple of decades on women’s rights, education and other issues.
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