US President Joe Biden issued a statement on Wednesday that he will withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by 9/11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
“We cannot continue the cycle of continuing or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdrawal of our (troops) and expecting a different result,” Biden said.
“I am the fourth American president to lead (the country during) the American military presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two democrats, ”the president stated.
“I will not shift this responsibility onto the fifth (president),” he stressed.
“After consulting with our allies and partners, our military leaders and intelligence specialists, our diplomats and development experts, Congress and the Vice President, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to end America’s longest war. The time has come for the American troops to return home, “said the head of the White House.
Ahead of the president’s speech, a senior administration official said that, according to Biden’s decision, “the best way forward for advancing American interests is to end the war in Afghanistan 20 years later (after the 9/11 attacks) so that we can see the picture of the global threat as it is. , in which it exists today, and not in the way it was two decades ago. “
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is in Brussels to discuss withdrawal plans with NATO allies. He said the United States, and said the United States remains committed to securing the future of Afghanistan.
“Together we achieved the goals we set for ourselves, and now it’s time to get our forces back home,” Blinken said.
In accordance with Biden’s decision, 3,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan after May 1, a deadline that was fixed in an agreement that Washington concluded with the Taliban last year when Donald Trump was president of the United States.
“We have known for a long time that military force will not solve the internal political problems of Afghanistan, will not put an end to the internal conflict in Afghanistan. We end our military operations … and focus our efforts on diplomatic support for the ongoing peace process, ”said a senior US administration official.
News of Biden’s decision to withdraw troops came on the same day that a partially released US intelligence report predicted that the peace deal would militarily benefit the Taliban.
Critics of the US military’s presence in Afghanistan say the withdrawal decision was a foregone conclusion.
“… We will still lose, or … our allies will lose power anyway, and so why not just leave sooner rather than later?” – this is how Michael O’Hanlon, senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, reproduces their reasoning.
“I think this is a flawed argument,” he stresses.
“This part of the world, which was previously the source of the 9/11 attacks, may become one of the large neutral territories where international terrorists can take refuge in the future,” the analyst says.
According to former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, Hussein Haqqani, “the real question now is whether the United States will continue to help the Kabul government and the Afghan people to contain the Taliban after the withdrawal of its troops.”
As Haqqani recalled, the Taliban “showed no interest in peace, and the Doha process only strengthened their belief that the US desire to leave Afghanistan outweighs their fears about the future of this country.”
Some analysts fear that the withdrawal of US troops will have dire consequences for the people of Afghanistan.
“It could become like Syria -… a patchwork quilt from… competing regions, where hundreds of thousands, not tens of thousands, of deaths occur, where there are many millions of refugees and where total chaos reigns…” warns O’Hanlon.
There are also fears that the repression carried out by the Taliban during their short-term rule in Afghanistan could begin again, with the United States having little leverage to influence the situation.
Democrat chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, said Washington could end financial assistance to Afghanistan “if civil society backs down from the rights that women have attained.”
Several prominent Republican senators condemned the Democratic president’s decision.
The Biden administration “plans to set its tail between its legs and abandon the fight in Afghanistan,” minority leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.
“The reckless withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is a serious mistake,” he said.
Jim Inhof, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the decision “reckless and dangerous.”
“A complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan… is devilishly damn dangerous,” Senator Leslie Graham is convinced.
Biden’s decision is highly appreciated by those who believe that the United States is no closer to victory today than it was more than a decade ago or will be in the future.
“In Washington … it’s harder to end a war than to start one,” said Laura Lumpe, chief executive officer of the Quincy Institute, a veteran of the disarmament struggle. “The White House should applaud …”