Honoring the US-Taliban Press Talks agreement completed during the Trump Administration, President Biden released a plan to pull out the remainder of troops in Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.
After almost 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy, President Biden explained that after talking to numerous leaders, “It’s time to end America’s longest war.”
“I’m now the fourth United States president to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan . . . I will not pass the responsibility onto the fifth,“ said when addressing the nation in Speaking from the Treaty Room in the White House.
A White House briefing stated President Biden and Afghani head of state, President Ashraf Ghani are in discussions to continue the agreement’s commitment “to a strong bilateral partnership following the departure of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and affirmed shared respect and gratitude for the sacrifices made by American forces, alongside NATO allies and operational partners, as well as by the Afghan people and Afghan service members over the past two decades.”
“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan respects the U.S. decision and we will work with our U.S. partners to ensure a smooth transition,” posted Afghani head of state, President Ashraf Ghani on Twitter.
President Ghani further assured “Afghanistan’s proud security and defense forces are fully capable of defending its people and country, which they have been doing all along, and for which the Afghan nation will forever remain grateful.”
Since President George W. Bush, millions of US troops have occupied Afghanistan and Iraq in the duration, along with thousands of bombs dropped in the region. The Military Times details a report by the U.S. Air Forces Central Command stating that in 2019 alone, “U.S. aircraft dropped 7,423 munitions.” The year before, 7,326 bombs were dropped.
Included in the war is the high cause of lives. The Watson Institute International & Public Affairs at Brown university reports that “Over 7,000 American service members have died in the war zones of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.” In terms of civilians. “at least 800,000 people have been killed by direct war violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan.”
Everyone does not Agree with the decision made by POTUS. Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voiced opposition. “Apparently we’re to help our adversaries ring in the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by gift-wrapping the country and handing it back to them,” he wrote in a press release.
McConnell continued. “Unfortunately, this mistake in Afghanistan is one of several instances of this new Administration surrendering leverage without making America, our allies, and our interests more secure.”
However, the decision to remove troops started under the Trump Administration. According to the timeline provided by the Council on Foreign Relations, while Trump said he would institute a withdrawal plan that was open-ended, he stopped billions of dollars of security aid to Pakistan. Then in late 2019, he started to withdraw thousands of troops and release prisoners of war in a swap.
President Biden plans to have troops completely removed at the 20-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2021 regardless if peace in the region has been reinstated or not.
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