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Biden says U.S. to leave Afghanistan on September 11

Biden says U.S. to leave Afghanistan on September 11”

"We went to Afghanistan to deliver justice to those who attacked us on September 11 and to disrupt terrorists seeking to use Afghanistan as a safe haven to attack".

The withdrawal will miss a May 1 deadline that had been established by the Trump administration in a deal with the Taliban past year, which included provisions for peace talks between Afghanistan's government and the Taliban that have since faltered.

On Wednesday, Stoltenberg "will discuss Afghanistan, as well as other issues, including Russia's aggressive actions and preparations for the upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit", with Blinken and Austin, ahead of the virtual North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ministers' meeting, the official said.

The President is deeply grateful for the honour, courage and determination of the US' men and women who served in Afghanistan for nearly two decades, as well as the sacrifices made not just by those troops, but also by their families, a senior Biden administration official told reporters during a conference call.

Mr Biden had previously said the 1 May deadline would be tough to meet. "No one wants a forever war, but I've consistently said any withdrawal must be conditions-based". White House officials feared that pulling out all USA troops by that deadline would have undercut efforts to settle the war between the Taliban and the Afghan government, the official said.

According to the Washington Post, Biden will announce the move on Wednesday. "And so we are ending our military operations while we focus our efforts on supporting diplomatically the ongoing peace process".

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The US has some 2,500 troops in the country as part of a 9,600-strong North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission.

USA officials said that raids by special operations troops based outside the country and airstrikes could be employed if intelligence found that Al Qaeda posed a growing threat.

Biden came to the decision after consultations with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and partners in Afghanistan, and after his administration completed a review that "did not sugarcoat the options or rely on best-case scenarios", the person said. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said in a statement.

"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", the source said. US officials have previously reported there are about 2,500 troops stationed in Afghanistan, though the New York Times reported last month about 1,000 more special operations forces were also stationed in the country. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), top Republican on the Armed Services Committee.

"When you start talking about removing our presence ... certain things like air, air support and maintenance of that air support becomes more and more problematic", Miller said in an interview in March.

As a condition of starting negotiations with the Afghan government, the Taliban also demanded the release of thousands of their men in a prisoner swap.



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