Biden to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan before 9/11 anniversary
On Wednesday, United States President Joe Biden is expected to make a formal announcement about withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The US will pull the remaining combat troops from the war-torn country by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks. Currently, 2,500 US troops are stationed in Afghanistan, serving with 7,000 troops of other foreign nations. Here are more details.
800,000 US soldiers have served in Afghanistan at least once
Nearly 800,000 US soldiers and military personnel have been deployed in Afghanistan at least once after the US invaded the country in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Of them, more than 2,300 have been killed, and about 20,000 were wounded. Almost 50,000 civilians have died in the conflict. Although the civilian death toll decreased last year, targeted killings are on the rise again.
The drawdown of troops will begin soon
A senior administration official said that Biden took the decision to withdraw the remaining troops after a "rigorous policy review," states Financial Times. The drawdown of US troops will begin before May 1 and the exercise will be completed by September 11. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the President will give a speech "on the way forward in Afghanistan" on Wednesday.
An official claimed US achieved its objective in Afghanistan
An official asserted that the US has achieved its goals of delivering justice and disrupting terrorists from making Afghanistan a safe haven to attack. "We judge the threat against the homeland now emanating from Afghanistan to be at a level that we can address it, without a persistent military footprint in the country and without remaining at war with the Taliban," the official added, reports The Guardian.
Taliban refused to participate in a peace summit
Meanwhile, the peace talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government, which have been underway since September, ran into trouble this week when the former refused to participate in a peace summit, scheduled to take place in Turkey in a few days. Muhammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesperson, tweeted they would not participate in any conference until all foreign forces retreat from Afghanistan.
Here are the tweets he posted
The move about America's longest war was hailed by Democrats
Biden's decision impressed the Democratic camp but Republicans believed this could adversely affect the country's security. Senator Tim Kaine said, "It is now time to bring our troops home, maintain humanitarian and diplomatic support for a partner nation, and refocus American national security on the most pressing challenges we face." An Iraq war veteran also commented that this development would leave numerous families overjoyed.
However, a Republican senator called it a reckless decision
Senator James M. Inhofe of the Republican Party termed it a dangerous and reckless decision. "Arbitrary deadlines would likely put our troops in danger, jeopardize all the progress we've made, and lead to civil war in Afghanistan — and create a breeding ground for international terrorists," he said. He added that the September deadline shows Biden's judgment "is political and is not conditions-based."