On Wednesday, April 14, US President Joe Biden formally declared his intention to pull American troops out of Afghanistan before September 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that prompted the US to invade the country and wage its longest war.
President George W. Bush declared the start of the war on October 7, 2001, from the same location in the White House Treaty Room where Biden delivered the historic speech.
Biden said he’ll go to the section of Arlington National Cemetery where many of America’s war dead from Afghanistan are buried after the speech.
He also said that US diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan will continue, and that the US will support peace efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban, but that the US-Afghanistan war is now over.
“We can’t keep extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan in the hopes of creating optimal conditions for our withdrawal and expecting a different outcome,” Biden said.
“I am now the fourth president of the United States to lead an American military presence in Afghanistan. There are two Republicans. There are two Democrats, “Added he. “I would not delegate this task to a fifth.”
“It’s past time for America’s longest war to come to an end. The time has come for American troops to return home ” he said.
According to Biden, the withdrawal will begin on May 1st, as agreed upon by President Donald Trump’s administration and the Taliban. He stated that the withdrawal will be completed by September 11th.
After two decades of “war,” the White House believes it is clear to the President that throwing more time and money at Afghanistan’s problems will not solve them.
“This is not a condition-based approach,” said a senior administration official involved in the discussions on Tuesday.
“The President has concluded that a condition-based policy, as has been the case for the past two decades, is a prescription for a permanent presence in Afghanistan.”
Some US troops will stay in the country to defend American diplomats, but officials refused to say how many.
President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan said he spoke with Biden on Wednesday and that he “respects the US decision.”
Afghanistan’s proud security and defense forces are fully capable of defending its people and land, as they have done throughout history, and for which the Afghan nation will be eternally grateful,” Ghani said on Twitter.
Prior to announcing his decision to withdraw the troops, Biden said he spoke with former President George W. Bush on Tuesday.
“I called President Bush yesterday to remind him of my decision. Though we have had many policy differences over the years, we are completely united in our admiration and appreciation for the valor, bravery, and dignity of the women and men who have served in the United States military “Biden said the following.
About 2,300 US troops have died in Afghanistan, and the fighting has cost more than $2 trillion.