Biden Administration Says It Will Withdraw U.S. Troops From Afghanistan By Sept. 11

Wednesday - 14/04/2021 09:44
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie (center) visits Kabul, Afghanistan, in January 2020. The Biden administration said it plans to complete a drawdown of U.S. troops in the country by Sept. 11. Lolita Baldor/AP
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie (center) visits Kabul, Afghanistan, in January 2020. The Biden administration said it plans to complete a drawdown of U.S. troops in the country by Sept. 11. Lolita Baldor/AP
Biden had previously warned it would be "tough" to meet the deadline, citing the delay in the presidential transition process after the 2020 election.

President Biden will withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that prompted America's involvement in its longest war, a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday.

Some 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, and as many as 1,000 more special operations forces are also reported to be in the country. There were more than 100,000 at the war's peak in 2011.

The withdrawal will miss a May 1 deadline that the Trump administration had established in a deal last year with the Taliban, which included provisions for peace talks between Afghanistan's government and the Taliban that have since faltered.

The official said Biden had arrived at that determination after a "rigorous" policy review and believes the threat to the U.S. emanating from Afghanistan is at a level that can be addressed without a persistent military footprint in the country. The president is expected make an official announcement on Wednesday.

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