September 11, 2021, will mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America. President Joe Biden plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan that day. The departure risks democracy, women’s rights, and governance improvements in Afghanistan. It also ensures that the Taliban, the same group that gave al-Qaida a safe haven, remains in control of large swaths of the country.
In a February 2020 agreement with President Donald Trump’s administration, the Taliban agreed to halt attacks and hold peace talks with the Afghan government. But Taliban leaders agreed to do so in exchange for a U.S. commitment to a complete withdrawal by May 1, 2021.
President Biden’s decision keeps U.S. troops in Afghanistan four months longer. However, it does set a firm end to two decades of war. The conflict largely crippled al-Qaida and led to the death of Osama bin Laden, the architect of the September 11 attacks. It also killed more than 2,200 U.S. troops, wounded 20,000, and cost as much as $1 trillion.
U.S. officials had argued against the May 1 deadline. They said the U.S. troop withdrawal should be based on security conditions in Afghanistan—including Taliban attacks and violence—not a certain date.
President Biden disagreed. Though he extended the date beyond that which the former president had set, he decided that a deadline had to be absolute, rather than based on conditions on the ground. “We’re committing today to going to zero” U.S. forces by September 11, and possibly before, he says.
The U.S. forces remaining in Afghanistan after May 1 will be those needed to protect diplomats there.
The decision to stay past the Trump deadline risks payback by the Taliban on U.S. and Afghan forces. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed says the Islamist religious militia is waiting for a formal announcement to issue its reaction. The Taliban previously warned the United States of “consequences” if it missed the May 1 deadline.
An intelligence community report issued Tuesday says prospects for a peace deal in Afghanistan are “low.” It warned that “the Taliban is likely to make gains on the battlefield.” If the coalition withdraws support, the report says, the Afghan government will struggle to control the Taliban.
Congressional reaction to the new deadline in the so-called “endless war” is mixed.
Senator Jim Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, slams it as a “reckless and dangerous decision.”
Democratic Senator Tim Kaine says troops should come home, and the U.S. must refocus American national security on more pressing challenges.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, also a Democrat, tweeted that the United States “has sacrificed too much to bring stability to Afghanistan to leave w/o verifiable assurances of a secure future.”
Over the past year, U.S. military commanders have noted that attacks on U.S. troops have largely paused—but that Taliban attacks on Afghans increased. 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.
When President Biden entered the White House in January, he was aware of the deadline. He had time to meet it had he chosen to do so. But in recent weeks, it became clear he was leaning toward missing it.
“It’s going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline,” Biden said in March. “Just in terms of tactical reasons, it’s hard to get those troops out.” He added, “And if we leave, we’re going to do so in a safe and orderly way.”
(President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William “Billy” Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Oof! Sorry for ya, although I can't personally empathize with that desire... Lol.
this is mylee
@Isabel tell your dad thankyou from me for serving our country.
My biological dad was dishonerably discharged from the Marine corps, so my family thinks I want to go to be better than him. I want to go so I can serve my country, too many snowflakes are dropping out of the military these days. Also, we do have WW3 one of these days and I survive, I can be a part of those documentaries (XD j.k about the last part)
Also, My stepdad was a nuclear engineer in a submarine (so navy)
@ Mylee I will!
@ Belwyn your welcome. I'm glad he's doing better!
@ Ayrelle that's good you want to serve this country! Thank you ;) I think it'd be fun to be in the military, but I don't plan on being in the military. I'm going to own a Christian horse camp down in Texas instead
lisen mot that i dont really
lisen mot that i dont really like what Joe Biden is doing but god put him in this place as the leader of the united states god is in countroll and he is still a good and loving god mabye god will sofhten the heart of our president and mabye God is testing us to see if we trust him which i know we need to do
proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
don't ever doubt the lord our
don't ever doubt the lord our GOD he is GOOD LOVING KIND ALLKNOWING EVERY WHERE HE IS NEVER CHANGING OUR GOD IS THE SAME TODAY YESTERDAY AND IN THE DAYS TO COME
*chokes* Fun?? Ho, boot camp alone is probably a living hell. Someone correct if I'm wrong, but I think at the end of training they have Hell Week. *shakes head* Yikes.
@ Hesperus D
Yeah, my whole family is in the military and it's no fun @_@
*according to them
*according to them
@Hesperus and Aryelle
My cousin went to boot camp last summer, and he had to get tased.
"PAIN!!!! you make me a, you make me a believer, BELIEVER!!!!"
I knew that you get pepper-sprayed, didn't know about the tasing, ok, something's to get ready for................
You might not have to get tased, my cousin went to basic training camp, but I know air force doesn't have to, so you might not have to.
Oh, you guys forgot tear gas.
Oh, you guys forgot tear gas. I think you gotta go thru that too. Can't miss any of the good stuff.
It's about TIME we got those guys out of Afghanistan!!! Why the cheese do we need our thumbs in everyone else's political pies?? Let them fix their own problems. As the wise professor in Narnia said, "We might try minding our own business."
What is tased?
Getting zapped. It really is a day ruiner, from what I've heard.