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Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan by 11 September, sources say

Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan by 11 September, sources say”

President Joe Biden has chose to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, 20 years to the day after al Qaeda's attacks triggered America's longest war, three sources familiar with the decision told Reuters. USA 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.

Biden's decision would miss a May 1 deadline for withdrawal agreed with Taliban insurgents by his predecessor Donald Trump's administration.

A USA intelligence report released at the end of March said that should the US withdraw, it is likely the Taliban could take over Afghanistan within two to three years and potentially bring al Qaeda back to power in the country.

While al-Qaida is not now believed to pose an external threat to the US, the official said, the country will reposition its counterterrorism assets in the region to monitor and disrupt any potential threats to the homeland.

"The president has judged that a conditions-based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe in staying in Afghanistan forever", the official said. The Biden administration is now in the midst of planning that force posture, and the official said the process will continue amid the withdrawal. It was first reported by The Washington Post. Biden may also publicly announce his decision, several sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. An exact number had yet to be decided.

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While Sept. 11 has been marked as the end-day of Biden's timeline, the withdrawal may be completed "well in advance" of September, the official added.

The decision on a deadline to remove the final 2,500 USA forces would finally put an end to the war - amid questions about how much stability and security the US would leave behind amid a fragile government that the military has helped prop up in Kabul. And it will reignite political division over America's involvement in what many have called the endless war. However, the Taliban said they had not yet committed to attending on that date. If the coalition withdraws support, the report says, the Afghan government will struggle to control the Taliban. Commanders have argued that the Taliban have failed to meet the conditions of the peace agreement by continuing attacks on the Afghans and failing to totally cut ties with al-Qaida and other extremist groups.

"After 20 years, thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent, we are finally bringing home our troops from Afghanistan", Khanna said in a statement. He launched a review of the February 2020 agreement shortly after taking office, and has been consulting at length with his defense and military advisers as well as allies.

In recent weeks, it became increasingly clear that he was leaning toward defying the deadline.

Last month, President Biden said it would be hard to meet Trump's May 1 deadline to withdraw, though he signaled his willingness to end the war. "Just in terms of tactical reasons, it's hard to get those troops out".



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