Washington – In search of the end of the 20-year war we saw 775,000 U.S. forces serve President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that 2,300 people were killed and that all US troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the conflict-causing 9/11 attack.
“It’s time to end America’s longest war,” Biden said in a speech from the White House Treaty Office in 2001 when former President George W. Bush announced his first airstrike in Afghanistan. “”
Mr Biden said the United States has achieved its primary goal of preventing Afghanistan from remaining a base where terrorists can attack their homeland again. He said the United States must shift its focus to targeting “more dispersed and transmigrating” terrorist threats around the world.
“We provided justice to Bin Laden 10 years ago and have stayed in Afghanistan for 10 years since then,” Biden said, referring to the 2011 killing of Osama Bin Laden, a former leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist network. It was. “Since then, the reasons for staying in Afghanistan have become increasingly unclear.”
However, the withdrawal was accompanied by concerns from Biden’s allies and some US intelligence agencies that a military withdrawal could further disrupt Afghanistan.
Tuesday Intelligence Report If the United States withdraws, it gives a dark outlook on Afghan peace, and the Taliban “is likely to benefit on the battlefield, and if the coalition withdraws support, the Afghan government will struggle to keep the Taliban away.” I predicted.
The war in Afghanistan, which tried to establish democratic rule, defeat al-Qaeda, and drive the Taliban out of power, cost the United States more than $ 2 trillion and killed more than 38,000 Afghan citizens.
Biden’s timeline will extend the prior agreement negotiated by former President Donald Trump and withdraw all troops by May 1. Instead, more than 3,000 troops still working in Afghanistan will begin returning on May 1. The US military was deployed in Afghanistan before it steadily declined in the last decade.
“I’m now the fourth US president to preside over the presence of the US military in Afghanistan. I’m two Republicans and two Democrats,” Biden said. “I don’t transfer this responsibility to one-fifth.”
Biden sought to counter criticism from Republicans and some Democrats. US objectives, including the recent acquisition of civil rights by Afghan women under the Taliban, can be lost if the US withdraws too soon. Trump faced a similar backlash due to his planned military departure.
“We don’t rush to the exit,” Biden said, adding that it would be done “responsibly, intentionally and safely.” He said the US military should not be used as a “negotiation chip for war parties in other countries” and called it a “recipe to keep the US military in Afghanistan indefinitely.”
“We cannot continue the cycle of expanding or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, creating ideal conditions for withdrawal and expecting different results,” Biden said.
“When is the right time to leave?” Asked the president. “One year left? Two years left? Ten years left?”
Biden, who campaigned with a promise to end America’s “eternal war,” faced increasing pressure to meet Trump’s May 1 deadline. He thanked the American soldiers who fought for their “courage and spine” in Afghanistan and followed up his speech on a trip to Section 60 of the Arlington National Cemetery. There, he paid tribute to the soldiers who died in the war in Afghanistan.
“I’m always amazed across generations. Women and men were preparing to give their lives for their country,” Biden said.
“No, it wasn’t,” he said when asked by reporters if the decision was a difficult decision to withdraw, “it was absolutely obvious.”
His decision drew harsh warnings from politicians from both parties and garnered praise, primarily from Democrats.
Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) said the withdrawal was a “disaster in progress” and “because it is so irresponsible, the Biden administration’s policies at the border look sound.” Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, whose father Dick Cheney was Vice President when the war began, called the September 11 deadline “a major publicity victory for the Taliban for al-Qaeda.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democratic ally of Biden and a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the decision was “extremely disappointing.” “The United States has made too many sacrifices,” she said, and could not leave without guaranteeing a safe future for Afghanistan.
However, Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) praised the move, saying, “Even if we end this military intervention, the United States must continue to commit to diplomatic, economic and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.” Said.
Senate leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. Said to CNN on Wednesday that the plan was “very good” and that it was “thought out.”
Biden said he had informed Bush of his decision on Tuesday, which began the war in Afghanistan and the war on terrorism. Former President Barack Obama said in a statement that Biden had made the right call, adding that “it is time to admit that we have achieved everything we can do militarily.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin were in Brussels on Tuesday informing NATO’s allies of the decision. Biden also consulted with his cabinet, Vice President Kamala Harris, Congressman, the Afghan government and other global allies, he said.
Biden said the United States “keeps an eye on the threat of terrorism,” but reorganizes its anti-terrorist capabilities and holds the Taliban accountable to prevent terrorist groups from operating in Afghanistan. did.
“We went to Afghanistan because of the horrific attack that happened 20 years ago,” Biden said. “It cannot explain why we should stay there in 2021. Rather than returning to the war with the Taliban, we decide our position and reach today and in the coming years. We must focus on the challenges that will be. “
According to the White House, the withdrawal of US troops will be done in collaboration with NATO allies, with about 7,000 troops withdrawing. Biden said that if the Taliban attacked the United States or its allies during its withdrawal, the United States would protect itself with “all the tools we have at our disposal.”
Biden vowed that the United States would continue its diplomatic and humanitarian activities in Afghanistan, even if the United States would not continue to be involved in the military, and that the United States would still support the Afghan government.
This includes training and equipment for more than 300,000 members of the Afghan Defense Forces, and support for UN-backed peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban, he said. He also promised to continue to support the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda used the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan as a safe haven to plan a September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
But instead of being kicked out by military force, the Taliban now dominates a vast area of the country that continues to suffer from violence despite US-mediated peace talks. Many experts say that no matter how long the United States stays or how much money Washington invests, the situation in Afghanistan will not improve.
Mr Biden said that if the United States pursues an approach that links exits to ground conditions, it will need a “clear answer” as to what those situations require.
“And if they could be achieved, how long would it take? And how much would the additional cost of life and treasure be? I haven’t heard a good answer to these questions, and we If they can’t answer them, in my opinion we shouldn’t stay. “
Contribution: Katie Wadington
Contact Joey Garrison on Twitter @ joeygarrison.
This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Biden announces withdrawal of Afghan troops by September 11