Reports: Biden to Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan by September U.S. Army soldiers retrieve their duffel bags after they returned home from a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan on December 10, 2020 at Fort Drum, New York. (John Moore/Getty Images)
By Newsmax Staff | Tuesday, 13 April 2021 01:06 PM
President Joe Biden will reportedly withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that first drew the United States into its longest war.
The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, first reported the decision that is expected to be announced Wednesday. The New York Times reported 3,000 troops will remain in the country beyond the May 1 exit deadline that the Trump administration had negotiated last year with the Taliban.
The Post reported there are currently 3,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, along with up to an additional 7,000 foreign forces in the coalition, the majority of them NATO troops.
"The reality is that the United States has big strategic interests in the world, like non-proliferation, like an increasingly aggressive and assertive Russia, like North Korea and Iran, whose nuclear programs pose a threat to the United States," as well as China, an unnamed source told the Post.
"The main threats to the American homeland are actually from other places: from Africa, from parts of the Middle East — Syria and Yemen.
"Afghanistan just does not rise to the level of those other threats at this point," the unnamed source added. "That does not mean we’re turning away from Afghanistan. We are going to remain committed to the government, remain committed diplomatically. But in terms of where we will be investing force posture, our blood and treasure, we believe that other priorities merit that investment."
According to the Post, Biden’s decision comes after an administration review of U.S. options in Afghanistan, where peace talks have failed to advance as hoped and the Taliban remains a major factor influence despite two decades of effort by the United States to defeat the militants and establish stable, democratic governance.
More than 2,000 U.S. service members and at least 100,000 Afghan civilians have died in the long war.
"This is the immediate, practical reality that our policy review discovered," the unnamed source told the Post. "If we break the May 1st deadline negotiated by the previous administration with no clear plan to exit, we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest."
"We’re going to zero troops by September."
According to the Post, Biden administration officials insist the United States intends to remain closely involved in the peace process and will continue to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to the Afghan government and security forces.
"What we won’t do is use our troops as a bargaining chip in that process," the source told the Post, adding the United States had gone to Afghanistan in 2001 "for a particular purpose: to deliver justice to those who attacked us on September 11th and to disrupt terrorists seeking to use Afghanistan as a safe haven to attack the United States. We achieved that objective some years ago."
"For that reason the president made the determination … that the best path forward to advance American interests is ending this war after 20 years so we can address the global threat picture as it exists today," the source told the Post.
Late last month, Biden said he didn’t expect U.S. troops to be deployed there next year. "We will leave," said at a White House news conference. "But the question is when we leave."
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