The United States has been in Afghanistan for longer than most of our youngest generation has been alive. President Joe Biden has made the decision to completely withdraw our troops from the region. The deadline is the 20th anniversary of the day that began this long drawn-out war, September 11, 2021.
Last year, President Trump negotiated a deal with the Taliban to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1 of this year. However, President Biden is expected to announce that he will be keeping troops in the country until September.
The withdrawal will be done in phases between now and September. The Taliban has already threatened to attack U.S. and NATO forces if they are not out by the original deadline.
According to the Washington Post, the Taliban also stated they will not engage in any talks or negotiations regarding Afghanistan's future direction until all of the U.S. and NATO forces have left. Currently, White House officials do not know if they will follow through on this with the new deadline.
Number To Withdraw
Currently, the United States has over 2,500 troops in the country. However, the number tends to fluctuate and it is thought that there are about 1,000 more there at the moment.
NATO and other foreign entities have about 7,000 troops in the area. Most of those belong to NATO. Peace talks with the Taliban are currently stalled, which plays into Biden's decision.
“If we break the May 1st deadline negotiated by the previous administration with no clear plan to exit, we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest.”White House Official
Senior administration officials say the plan is to pull every single one of our troops out of the country, leaving "zero" behind.
According to that official, "This is not conditions-based. The president has judged that a conditions-based approach . . . is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.”
One major catalyst for this decision is the increasing threat from countries like Russia and China. The United States will shift military focus to those regions.
The U.S. has been in Afghanistan for two decades, one of the longest military occupations. Troops withdrawn from there will likely be shifted to regions that the Biden administration feels pose a larger threat to the U.S. currently.