(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
All U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by September 11 — the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon — a senior administration official announced on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden "made the determination and is announcing tomorrow that the best path forward to advance American interests is to end the war in Afghanistan after 20 years, so that we can address the global threat picture as it exists today, not as it was two decades ago," said the official.
Biden's decision will keep 3,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan beyond the May 1 deadline that had been agreed to in a deal Washington negotiated last year with the Taliban when Donald Trump was president.
News of the troop withdrawal decision by Biden comes the same day that a pessimistic U.S. intelligence report predicted a peace deal is unlikely in the next year and the Taliban will make battlefield gains.
"The Afghan government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support," said an unclassified version of the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Several prominent senators of the opposition Republican party are assailing the Democratic president's decision.
The Biden administration "plans to turn tail and abandon the fight in Afghanistan," said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement. "Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake."
The ranking member of the Senate's armed services committee, Jim Inhofe, called it "a reckless and dangerous decision."
"A full withdrawal from Afghanistan is dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous," according to Senator Lesley Graham. "President Biden will have, in essence, cancelled an insurance policy against another 9/11."
Source: Newsday/News Wires/VOA