US President Joseph Biden announced late Tuesday his country would withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11, thus putting an end to one of the longest armed conflicts in which the country has been involved.
It's time to end this forever war, said Biden about the conflict that has cost trillions of dollars and the lives of more than 2,300 American troops.
We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago. That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021, Biden said. We were attacked, we went to war with clear goals, he added. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaida is degraded in Afghanistan, and it's time to end this forever war,'' he added.
Biden also pointed out we cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdrawal and expecting a different result.
He went on: I'm now the fourth United States president to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan, two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass the responsibility onto a fifth.
Under former President Barack Obama - with Biden himself as Vice Presidet - the US withdrew around 100,000 troops from Afghanistan in 2011.
Biden explained the new orders are to be implemented gradually as of May 1 and end by September 11, on the 20th anniversary of the terrortist attacks on US soil. But it shall not be a hasty rush to the exit, warned the president, who insisted the US will leave Afghanistan responsibly, deliberately and safely. Biden said diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue in the country, including assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
As of 2021, some 2,500 troops remain in Afghanistan. As many as 1,000 more special operations forces are also reported to be in Afghanistan. After the withdrawal, some personnel will still remain in the country to protect America's diplomatic presence..
Former President Donald Trump had pledged to the Taliban a full withdrawal of troops by May 1, which Biden had previously said would be tough” to meet.