Washington/Kabul: US President Joe Biden announced that “The United States did not deploy troops to unify Afghanistan. The US military had set foot in Afghanistan for two reasons – eliminating Osama bin Laden and destroying a haven for terrorists in Afghanistan. The United States has succeeded in achieving both goals, and it is time to end the war in Afghanistan permanently. It’s time for American troops to come home.” Simultaneously, Biden also called on Pakistan, Russia, China, India and Turkey to take additional efforts for establishing peace in Afghanistan.
Biden justified his decision as he said, “After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the United States declared war on terror in Afghanistan. Over the past 20 years, we have spent trillions of dollars on the war, which has claimed the lives of more than 2,400 US soldiers. The war in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking”. Furthermore, he said, “The US withdrawal from Afghanistan will begin on May 1 and done in phases. There will be no rush, and it will be completed before September 11.”
“At the same time, the United States has succeeded in destroying terrorist havens in Afghanistan. In future, the Taliban would be held accountable if terrorists from Afghanistan continued to attack the United States,” President Biden warned. Biden said he had discussed the issue with former US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Following Biden’s announcement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Afghanistan and met Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah. After the United States, NATO member nations, the UK and Germany, have announced their troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on September 11. NATO also welcomed Biden’s announcement. However, China has expressed concerns over the US troop withdrawal. China’s Foreign Ministry says terrorist groups would benefit from the US withdrawal.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has expressed outrage over Biden’s announcement about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban had earlier demanded that the United States withdraw from Afghanistan before May 1. Nevertheless, the Taliban has refused to participate in peace talks in Turkey after Biden postponed the withdrawal for six months.