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


By Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden has determined to withdraw the remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, 20 years to the day after al Qaeda’s assaults triggered America’s longest battle, U.S. officers stated on Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin are anticipated to transient the choice to NATO allies in Brussels on Wednesday. Biden may additionally publicly announce his determination, a number of sources stated, talking on situation of anonymity.

“After a rigorous coverage evaluate, President Biden has determined to attract down the remaining troops in Afghanistan and eventually finish the U.S. battle there after 20 years,” a senior administration official advised reporters.

Biden’s determination would miss a Could 1 deadline for withdrawal agreed with Taliban insurgents by his predecessor Donald Trump’s administration.

In an announcement final month, the Taliban threatened to renew hostilities towards international troops in Afghanistan if they didn’t meet the Could 1 deadline.

However Biden would nonetheless be setting a near-term date for withdrawal, doubtlessly allaying Taliban considerations that the US might drag out the method.

The senior Biden administration official harassed that the pullout wouldn’t be topic to additional circumstances.

“The president has judged {that a} conditions-based strategy, which has been the strategy of the previous twenty years, is a recipe in staying in Afghanistan ceaselessly,” the official stated.

The Could 1 deadline had already began to look much less and fewer probably in current weeks, given the shortage of preparations on the bottom to make sure it might be achieved in a protected and accountable approach. U.S. officers have additionally blamed the Taliban for failing to stay as much as commitments to scale back violence and a few have warned about persistent Taliban hyperlinks to al Qaeda.

It was these ties that triggered U.S. army intervention in 2001 following al Qaeda’s Sept. 11 assaults, when al Qaeda hijackers slammed airplanes into the World Commerce Heart in New York Metropolis and the Pentagon outdoors Washington, killing nearly 3,000 folks.

Nonetheless, the Biden administration stated al Qaeda doesn’t pose a menace to the U.S. homeland now.

There are solely about 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at present, 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 plenty of hundreds extra wounded.

It stays unclear how Biden’s transfer would impression upcoming talks in Istanbul from April 24 to Could 4 meant to jump-start an Afghan peace course of and sketch out a doable political settlement in regards to the Central Asian nation. The deliberate 10-day summit will embrace the United Nations and Qatar.

U.S. troops have lengthy offered the US with leverage in peace efforts.

However the senior Biden administration official stated the US would now not follow that technique.

“There is no such thing as a army resolution to the issues plaguing Afghanistan, and we’ll focus our efforts on supporting the continuing peace course of,” the official stated.

The presence of American forces eased considerations in Afghanistan that the US would possibly flip its again on the federal government in Kabul.

“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.

“Until then, we hope there’s a readability,” the supply added.

Then-President George W. Bush despatched American forces into Afghanistan to topple its Taliban leaders simply weeks after the Sept. 11 assaults. U.S. forces tracked down and killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011 through the presidency of Bush’s successor Barack Obama.

With a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 ordered by Bush, the American army started a interval lasting years of preventing two massive wars concurrently, stretching its capabilities. U.S. troops left Iraq in 2011 below Obama, although some have been later deployed below President Donald Trump in response to the menace posed by Islamic State militants.

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