Against better judgment, President Joe Biden is planning to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. According to reports, NATO allies will also be pulling out by Sept, 11.
How ironic..They will be out by the very date that American lives were lost at the hands of terrorist group Al Qaeda in 2001.
Troops will start leaving the middle eastern country on May 1, two decades after the war began.
"This is not an easy decision, and it entails risks. As I said for many months, we face a dilemma. Because the alternative to leaving in an orderly fashion is to be prepared for a long-term, open-ended military commitment with potentially more NATO troops," said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Around 7,000 non-U.S. forces from mainly NATO countries, also from Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, outnumber the 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but still rely on American air support, planning and leadership for their training mission.
Biden gave a speech on Wednesday in Washington announcing the U.S. withdrawal, saying that "it's time to end the forever war."
An integral part of NATO's current mission, Resolute Support, is to train and equip Afghan security forces fighting the Islamist Taliban, which was ousted from power by a U.S. invasion in 2001 and has since waged an insurgency.
With non-U.S. troop numbers reaching as high as 40,000 in 2008, Europe, Canada and Australia have moved in tandem with the United States in a mission also providing long-term funding to rebuild Afghanistan despite the resurgence of Taliban-led violence and endemic official corruption in the country.
"This is not the end of our relationship with Afghanistan but rather the start of a new chapter. NATO allies will continue to stand with the Afghan people but it is now for the Afghan people to build a sustainable peace that puts an end to violence," Stoltenberg added.
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