Biden reportedly plans to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks
- President Joe Biden plans to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan by September 11.
- The withdrawal deadline marks the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks that pulled America into the war.
- "We're going to zero troops by September," a source told The Washington Post.
- For more stories visit Business Insider.
The Biden administration plans to pull all US forces out of Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the deadly terrorist attacks that dragged the US into a decades-long conflict, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
There are around 3,500 troops currently serving in Afghanistan.
Under the provisions of a deal negotiated with the Taliban by the Trump administration, the US is expected to have all of them out of the country by May 1. However, in March, Biden said that "it's going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline," explaining that for tactical reasons, "it's hard to get those troops out." He stressed, though, that "it is not my intention to stay there for a long time."
The next day, the Taliban said that "if God forbid, all foreign troops [do] not withdraw from Afghanistan on the specified date," the insurgent force "will be compelled to defend its religion and homeland and continue its Jihad and armed struggle against foreign forces to liberate its country."
It's unclear if the Taliban will follow through on that threat with the new deadline of September.
"If we break the May 1st deadline negotiated by the previous administration with no clear plan to exit, we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest," a person familiar with the planning told The Post. "We're going to zero troops by September."
Reuters also confirmed plans to withdraw troops by September 11, noting that the withdrawal would be conditioned on certain human rights and security guarantees.
The plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan comes as the US shifts its focus to higher-level threats, such as rivals like China and Russia.
"Afghanistan just does not rise to the level of those other threats at this point," The Post's source said.
"That does not mean we're turning away from Afghanistan," the person said. "We are going to remain committed to the government, remain committed diplomatically. But in terms of where we will be investing force posture, our blood and treasure, we believe that other priorities merit that investment."
Receive a daily news update on your cellphone. Or get the best of our site emailed to you
Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.