Great Britain

Joe Biden to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by 20th anniversary of 9/11

The US President is due to announce today that US troops will exit Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The move would mark the end of America's longest armed conflict.

One senior administration official confirmed on Tuesday the US' intention to leave the country.

They said: “We have long known that there is no military solution to the problems plaguing Afghanistan.”

The insider added that the US forces’ departure would come "no later than 9/11 but potentially a meaningful amount of time before then."

But military sources warned that a prompt exodus could leave the US in a debilitated position in the face of potential Taliban attacks.

“However, Mr Biden is also likely to honour the US's existing security partnerships and remain engaged in current conflicts, if withdrawal would risk deteriorating conditions on the ground.

“An example of the latter is in Afghanistan, where we no longer expect the US troop presence to be completely wound down, as the former president, Donald Trump, had previously ordered.”

The War in Afghanistan began after the Taliban Government refused to hand over al-Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

The US Government and Taliban signed a peace agreement in February 2020 which set out a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

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They added that being in such a position would mean the US would risk losing what it achieved in the past 20 years.

In February, the Afghan Study Group, a bipartisan experts body, elaborated a report on its findings.

The report read: “A withdrawal would not only leave America more vulnerable to terrorist threats; it would also have catastrophic effects in Afghanistan and the region that would not be in the interest of any of the key actors, including the Taliban.”

Global economist Cailin Birch pointed out last month that Mr Biden is likely to focus on decreasing US military presence in foreign countries.

She told “Broadly, we expect the Biden administration to take a more multilateral approach than the US has in recent decades while seeking to minimise its military engagements abroad.

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