Biden Vows To Withdraw All US Troops From Afghanistan By September 11
President Joe Biden has vowed to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11.
In a speech at the White House yesterday, April 14, Biden said ‘it’s time for American troops to come home’. Announcing the callback, he said troops will begin to come home next month with the aim of removing them entirely by the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
‘I have concluded that it’s time to end America’s longest war. It’s time for American troops to come home,’ he said.
In October 2001, former president George Bush announced the US military had begun strikes on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, just weeks after the September 11 attacks.
‘We went to Afghanistan in 2001 to root out al Qaeda, to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States planned from Afghanistan. Our objective was clear. The cause was just. Our NATO Allies and partners rallied beside us. And I supported that military action, along with overwhelming majority of the members of Congress,’ Biden said yesterday.
Biden said that in 2008, Obama asked him to fly to Afghanistan and report back on the state of the war.
‘I flew to Afghanistan, to the Kunar Valley — a rugged, mountainous region on the border with Pakistan. What I saw on that trip reinforced my conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country, and that more and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan government,’ he said.
While commending the Obama administration’s operation against Osama Bin Laden, Biden said the US had remained in Afghanistan for a decade since.
‘Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan are becoming increasingly unclear, even as the terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved,’ he said.
Emphasising that the US will ‘not take our eye off the terrorist threat’, he said the war in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking.
‘We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead, and al Qaeda is degraded in Iraq — in Afghanistan. And it’s time to end the forever war,’ he said.
Biden said he had informed Bush of his decision, who had given him his approval. Obama also praised the decision in a statement after Biden’s speech.
‘After nearly two decades of putting our troops in harm’s way, it is time to recognise that we have accomplished all that we can militarily, and that it’s time to bring our remaining troops home,’ he said.
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