All US troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by 9/11/2021, ignoring the 1 May deadline set by previous guy. 2,500 troops remain.

*“Wars with Native tribes from 1788-1890 count as the actual longest U.S. war, the nation’s very own Hundred Years War.

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President Biden says the September 11, 2001 terror attacks “cannot explain” why American forces should still be there 20 years later.

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The decision defies a May 1 deadline for full withdrawal under a peace agreement the Trump administration reached with the Taliban last year, but leaves no room for additional extensions. A senior administration official called the September date an absolute deadline that won’t be affected by security conditions in the country.

While Biden’s decision keeps U.S. troops in Afghanistan four months longer than initially planned, it sets a firm end to two decades of war that killed more than 2,200 U.S. troops, wounded 20,000, and cost as much as $1 trillion. The conflict largely crippled al-Qaida and led to the death of Osama bin Laden, the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks. But an American withdrawal also risks many of the gains made in democracy, women’s rights and governance, while ensuring that the Taliban, who provided al-Qaida’s safe haven, remain strong and in control of large swaths of the country.

Biden has been hinting for weeks that he was going to let the May deadline lapse, and as the days went by it became clear that an orderly withdrawal of the roughly 2,500 remaining troops would be difficult and was unlikely. The administration official said the drawdown would begin by May 1.

Biden’s choice of the 9/11 date underscores the reason that American troops were in Afghanistan to begin with — to prevent extremist groups like al-Qaida from establishing a foothold again that could be used to launch attacks against the U.S.

www.pbs.org/…

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— Ben Pauker (@benpauker) April 14, 2021

As Biden weighed a full exit from the country this spring, top military leaders advocated for keeping a small U.S. presence on the ground made up primarily of special operations forces and paramilitary advisers, arguing that a force of a few thousand troops was needed to keep the Taliban in check and prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a haven for terrorists, according to nine former and current U.S. officials familiar with the discussions.
Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the four-star commanders of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Central Command and Special Operations Command, were emphatic proponents of this strategy, the current and former officials said, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive planning.

But in the end, Biden and his top national security deputies did what no previous president has done successfully — they overrode the brass.

www.politico.com/…

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— Kelsey D. Atherton (@AthertonKD) April 14, 2021

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