Setting an end date for America’s longest war
President Biden will withdraw the remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that launched the U.S. into its longest war. Mr. Biden overruled warnings from his military advisers that the departure could prompt a resurgence of terrorist violence.
The decision will keep more than 3,000 troops on the ground beyond the May 1 deadline set by President Donald Trump. Officials said that by fixing a definite date for the withdrawal, Mr. Biden hoped to avoid an increase in violence threatened by the Taliban if the U.S. stayed beyond May 1. The withdrawal will begin this month.
Mr. Biden rejected the Pentagon’s push for a “conditions-based” withdrawal, in which the U.S. would remain until Afghanistan’s security forces could assert themselves.
What’s next: Turkey is holding an Afghan peace summit beginning April 24 as part of the U.S.-backed diplomatic push. Turkey’s foreign ministry announced that representatives from Afghanistan and the Taliban would attend, although the Taliban said they had not agreed to the date, Reuters reports.
Analysis: A new intelligence report released Tuesday offered a grim assessment — prospects for a peace deal in the next year are low, and the Taliban are likely to make battlefield gains.