From Associated Press - President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the US will withdraw all remaining troops from Afghanistan by September 11 of this year. Although former President Donald Trump announced that all troops would be withdrawn by May 1, Biden announced that the process will begin May 1.
In his announcement, Biden stated that the attacks that occurred 20 years ago on September 11 can no longer justify Americans continuing to die in what has become the longest war in the history of the US.
Before his announcement on Wednesday, Biden spoke with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, stating that the US would continue to support the Afghan people through development, humanitarian, and security assistance.
Ghani posted on Twitter: "The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan respects the U.S. decision, and we will work with our U.S. partners to ensure a smooth transition."
Many fear that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan could boost Taliban efforts to gain back power and undo the progress that has been made toward democracy and women's rights over the past 20 years.
CIA Director William Burns stated at a hearing on Wednesday, "The U.S. government's ability to collect and act on threats will diminish." Burns continued: "After withdrawal, whenever that time comes, the CIA and all of our partners in the U.S. government will retain a suite of capabilities, some of it remaining in place, some of them that we will generate, that can help us to anticipate and contest any rebuilding effort."
To date, more than 2,200 US troops have been killed in the war in Afghanistan, and 20,000 have been wounded. In total the war has cost the US approximately $1 trillion.
Approximately 2,500 troops are still in Afghanistan at this time.
Image from Associated Press