1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, watch as CH-47 Chinook helicopters circle above during a dust storm at Forward Operating Base Kushamond, Afghanistan, July 17, during preparation for an air assault mission.
U.S. Army photo
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by September, missing a crucial May 1 deadline that was previously broked by the Trump administration, according to The Washington Post and Reuters.
Biden’s removal of U.S. forces will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that triggered the nation’s entry into what would become its longest war.
The announcement comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin meet with NATO partners in Brussels.
In February 2020, the Trump administration brokered a deal with the Taliban that would usher in a permanent cease-fire and reduce further the U.S. military’s footprint from approximately 13,000 troops to 8,600 by mid-July last year.
By May 2021, all foreign forces would leave Afghanistan, according to the deal. The majority of troops in the country are from Europe and partner nations. There are about 2,500 U.S. service members currently in Afghanistan.
Last month, Biden told reporters during his first press conference that he could not yet commit to the May 1 deadline.
“It’s going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline,” Biden said, adding “it is not my intention to stay there for a long time,” Biden said.
When asked if U.S. service members would remain in Afghanistan another year, Biden said he did not see that being the case.
“We are not staying a long time. We will leave, the question is when we leave,” the president said, adding that his administration was in consultations with NATO allies and partners in the region.
The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1.57 trillion collectively since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a Defense Department report.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.