As the United States prepares to withdraw its remaining troops from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden is warning the Taliban against carrying out attacks on American forces.
During prepared remarks on Wednesday, Biden announced his plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops on May 1 and his aim to complete the withdrawal by Sept. 11 — the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“After consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and development experts, with the Congress and the vice president, as well as with Mr. Ghani and many others around the world, I concluded that it’s time to end America’s longest war. It’s time for American troops to come home,” Biden said.
He continued, “When I came to office, I inherited a diplomatic agreement duly negotiated between the government of the United States and the Taliban that all U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021… It’s perhaps not what I would have negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States Government, and that means something.”
“So in keeping with that agreement and with our national interests, the United States will begin our final withdrawal beginning on May 1 of this year. We will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit. We’ll do it responsibly, deliberately, and safely.”
Finally, Biden said, “The Taliban should know if they attack us as we drawdown, we will defend ourselves and our partners with all the tools at our disposal.”
Watch the video below:
Pres. Biden: "The Taliban should know if they attack us while we draw down, we will defend ourselves and our partners with all the tools at our disposal."https://t.co/L3VQVu2zsf pic.twitter.com/kbTrgk0x8u
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 14, 2021
Officials confirmed on Tuesday that Biden was planning to announce the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11.
That date is later than the withdrawal date that former President Donald Trump’s administration agreed to. Last month, the Taliban warned it would resume attacks against foreign forces if the May 1 deadline was not met.
Speaking to reporters, an administration official said, “There is no military solution to the problems plaguing Afghanistan, and we will focus our efforts on supporting the ongoing peace process.”
During his remarks, Biden said, “I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”
He argued that the U.S. “went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago.” However, he said it “cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021.”
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