Biden set to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 By Reuters

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan Nationwide Military (ANA) base in Logar province, Afghanistan 2/2 By Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden plans to withdraw the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, 20 years to the day after the al


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan Nationwide Military (ANA) base in Logar province, Afghanistan

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By Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden plans to withdraw the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, 20 years to the day after the al Qaeda assaults that triggered America’s longest struggle, U.S. officers stated on Tuesday.

The disclosure of the plan got here on the identical day that the U.S. intelligence neighborhood launched a depressing outlook for Afghanistan, forecasting “low” probabilities of a peace deal this yr and warning that its authorities would battle to carry the Taliban insurgency at bay if the U.S.-led coalition withdraws assist.

Biden’s choice would miss a Might 1 deadline for withdrawal agreed to with the Taliban by his predecessor Donald Trump. The insurgents had threatened to renew hostilities towards overseas troops if that deadline was missed. However Biden would nonetheless be setting a near-term withdrawal date, doubtlessly allaying Taliban considerations.

The Democratic president will publicly announce his choice on Wednesday, the White Home stated. A senior Biden administration official stated the pullout would start earlier than Might 1 and might be full nicely earlier than the Sept. 11 deadline. Considerably, it won’t could be topic to additional circumstances, together with safety or human rights.

“The president has judged {that a} conditions-based method, which has been the method of the previous 20 years, is a recipe in staying in Afghanistan perpetually,” the official, talking on situation of anonymity, stated in a briefing with reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin are anticipated to debate the choice with NATO allies in Brussels on Wednesday, sources stated.

Biden’s choice suggests he has concluded that the U.S. navy presence will now not be decisive in reaching an enduring peace in Afghanistan, a core Pentagon assumption that has lengthy underpinned American troop deployments there.

“There isn’t a navy answer to the issues plaguing Afghanistan, and we are going to focus our efforts on supporting the continued peace course of,” the senior administration official stated.

The U.S. intelligence report, which was despatched to Congress, said: “Kabul continues to face setbacks on the battlefield, and the Taliban is assured it might obtain navy victory.”

The Taliban declined remark, saying the group has not been notified of the U.S. choice.

The Might 1 deadline had already began to seem much less and fewer possible in current weeks, given the shortage of preparations on the bottom to make sure it might be accomplished safely and responsibly. U.S. officers have additionally blamed the Taliban for failing to stay as much as commitments to cut back violence and a few have warned about persistent Taliban hyperlinks to al Qaeda.

It was these ties that triggered U.S. navy intervention in 2001 following al Qaeda’s Sept. 11 assaults, when hijackers slammed airplanes into the World Commerce Heart in New York Metropolis and the Pentagon exterior Washington, killing virtually 3,000 folks. The Biden administration has stated al Qaeda doesn’t pose a risk to the U.S. homeland now.

‘ABANDON THE FIGHT’

Senate Republican Chief Mitch McConnell accused Biden of planning to “flip tail and abandon the combat in Afghanistan.” It was Trump, a Republican, who had agreed to the Might 1 withdrawal.

“Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake,” McConnell stated, including that efficient counter-terrorism operations require presence and companions on the bottom.

There presently are about 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, down from a peak of greater than 100,000 in 2011. About 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in the middle of the Afghan battle and lots of 1000’s extra wounded.

It stays unclear how Biden’s transfer would impression a deliberate 10-day summit beginning April 24 about Afghanistan in Istanbul that is because of embody the United Nations and Qatar. Taliban representatives haven’t but dedicated to attend.

Officers in Afghanistan are bracing for the withdrawal.

“We should survive the impression of it and it shouldn’t be thought of as Taliban’s victory or takeover,” stated a senior Afghan authorities supply, talking on situation of anonymity.

Though successive U.S. presidents sought to extricate themselves from Afghanistan, these hopes had been confounded by considerations about Afghan safety forces, endemic corruption in Afghanistan and the resiliency of a Taliban insurgency that loved secure haven throughout the border in Pakistan.

Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee, stated america might lower off monetary help to Afghanistan “if there may be backsliding on civil society, the rights that girls have achieved.” Beneath earlier Taliban rule, the rights of girls and women had been curtailed.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed, chairman of Senate Armed Companies, known as it a really troublesome choice for Biden.

“There isn’t a straightforward reply,” Reed stated.





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