Biden will announce the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11. | News
President Joe Biden has decided to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 20 years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which plunged the country into its longest war, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The decision will remain in place for more than 3,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the May 1 withdrawal deadline announced by former President Donald Trump’s administration.
But this suggests that Biden plans to present as the final end of the American “Eternal War”.
Administration officials said that since Biden had set a specific date for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, he hoped to avoid an increase in violence threatened by the Taliban if the United States retained its troops after May 1.
The decision was announced earlier on Tuesday by The Washington Post.
A new intelligence report released on Tuesday gives a grim assessment of Afghanistan and the prospects for peace.
U.S. intelligence has estimated that a peace deal is unlikely next year and that the Taliban will succeed on the battlefield.
“The Afghan government will fight to keep the Taliban in fear if the coalition refuses to support,” the report said.
The military and other officials who advocated keeping troops in the country longer used a similar secret intelligence assessment to justify a slower reduction, worried that the withdrawal of U.S. troops could spark a wider civil war and eventually the return of terrorist groups.
A report released Tuesday did not assess the likelihood of al Qaeda returning to Afghanistan, and some high-ranking officials remain skeptical that the Taliban would allow it to do so.
The report does say that Afghan government forces continue to hold major cities. But they were “connected in defensive missions and with all their might held the recaptured territory.”
Afghan officials fear that Biden’s decision to detain US troops in Afghanistan after the May 1 deadline, as stated in last year’s peace deal, would put pressure on the Kabul government to release some 7,000 Taliban prisoners whom the insurgent group has long sought to release.
Now these prisoners and the lifting of United Nations sanctions have been among the last levers of United States influence on the Taliban.
The Afghan government strongly opposes any further release of prisoners.