“Time To End Forever War”: Joe Biden Announces US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

In his White House speech, Joe Biden acknowledged that US objectives in Afghanistan had become “increasingly unclear” over the past decade.

The United States President Joe Biden, rejecting calls for US forces to stay to ensure a peaceful resolution to that nation’s grinding internal conflict, said on Wednesday that he will begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan on May 1 to end America’s longest war.

The recently elected President, in a White House speech, acknowledged that US objectives in Afghanistan had become “increasingly unclear” over the past decade. Marking the exact 20 years of al Qaeda’s attack on the United States that triggered the war, Joe Biden set a deadline for withdrawing all 2,500 U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan by Sept. 11.

“It was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking. We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives,” the US President said, stressing that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by American forces in 2011 and the organization has been “degraded” in Afghanistan.

“And it’s time to end the forever war,” Joe Biden said.

With an estimated cost of $2 trillion, the US has also lost 2,448 American service members in this war. U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan peaked at more than 100,000 in 2011.

Former President Donald Trump had set a May 1 deadline for withdrawal. Trump tried to pull the forces out and failed to do so before leaving the office in January. Instead, Biden said the final withdrawal would start on May 1 and end by Sept. 11.

“I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats,” Biden said.

“I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.”

Ashraf Ghani, the Afghanistan President, wrote on Twitter that he spoke with Biden and respects the U.S. decision. Ghani added that “we will work with our U.S. partners to ensure a smooth transition” and “we will continue to work with our US/NATO partners in the ongoing peace efforts.”

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