President Joe Biden declared on Wednesday that “it is time to end the forever war” in Afghanistan. He said the United States had long ago accomplished its main mission of denying terrorists a refuge in the country and that leaving American forces in Afghanistan was no longer worth the cost in blood and money.
He said that 2,500 American troops and other NATO forces would slowly be drawdown starting on May 1, with the process completed by September 11. Military officials suggested that the withdrawal could be even more rapid, leaving only a token guard force for the American Embassy.
Speaking from the same spot in the White House where President George W Bush ordered the start of the war after the September 11 attacks nearly two decades ago, Biden said, “War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for withdrawal, and expecting a different result. I’m now the fourth United States president to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.”
Whereas, NATO in a statement said that despite the troop withdrawal, it would continue to stand with Afghanistan, its people, and institutions in promoting security and upholding the gains of the last 20 years.