A report in The Washington Post has revealed that Biden plans to make a major announcement on Wednesday related to a full and final troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. A senior administration official was cited as saying the president will announce a full US troop exit from America's longest war in history, scheduled to be accomplished prior to the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, which is this year.
"President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, people familiar with the plans said, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that first drew the United States into its longest war," Washington Post writes.
"The president has judged that a conditions-based approach that has been the approach of the last two decades is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever," the unnamed official said.
The official further claimed that this time the Sept.11 date is a "hard deadline" and not a mere target date or goal. Yet the reality remains that an endless number of variables and unknown contingencies could serve as a near-future rationale for keeping troops there past this supposed "hard date" (as has been the pattern for years despite repeat attempts at draw down, especially under Trump. ).
It comes after this month it became clear the White House would keep troops in the country past the May 1st deadline agreed to with the Taliban under negotiations that had been in place by the Trump administration. However, Biden has reportedly expressed a desire to not see troops stay "long" past that deadline, even though the prior commitment will not be met, which has resulted in threats by the Taliban that US forces and assets will come under attack once that date passes with American forces still there.
The Wall Street Journal presents Biden's justification for an exit by Sept.11 as follows:
The U.S. is coordinating the withdrawal with North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, which now contribute the bulk of forces to the conflict, officials said.
In making his decision, Mr. Biden determined that al Qaeda and affiliated groups no longer pose a threat to the American homeland and that keeping U.S. forces in Afghanistan is no longer necessary, officials said.
Interestingly Trump too had pushed for a speedy exit from America's Mideast quagmires, but not in a way which deemed al-Qaeda or ISIS 'no longer a threat'.
The further context informing Biden's decision appears to be the difficulty bordering on impossibility of getting the Taliban and national government in Kabul to come to terms. Just this week the two sides were supposed to meet in Istanbul, which the Taliban just just announced it will not take part in after all.
Meanwhile, here's CNN pushing the notion that the US must stay bogged down in the Afghan 'forever war' because "women's rights" and all...
Concerns mount that US withdrawal from Afghanistan could risk progress on women's rights https://t.co/UgqVYW4Hul— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 10, 2021
And like with Trump, the usual neocons and beltway hawks are emerging to argue that the US should indeed simply stay with no end-date in mind...
Someone remind me what Bill Kristol did in this war? https://t.co/UHKwFQGcWt— Jack Murphy (@JackMurphyRGR) April 13, 2021