Biden Again Promises to Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan

President Biden is still struggling to find a sustainable way to withdraw troops from the lengthy battle in the Middle East after nearly two decades, more than 2,300 US personnel killed, more than 20,000 injured, 18 commanders, and $2 trillion spent.

President Biden announced Friday during a White House press conference that the U.S. combat mission in Iraq will be over by the end of the year, while airstrikes against the Taliban will continue. But actions speak louder than words.

President Biden has made several promises during his campaign over the last year to withdraw troops from Afghanistan as soon as August. However, as the confrontation with the Taliban military began to escalate, the Biden administration’s aspirations of leaving Iraq swiftly vanished.

The original deadline for a deal between U.S. and Taliban forces to end the 20-year U.S. military intervention was May 1 of this year. In his first few years in office, U.S. President Donald Trump set a historical record by commencing peace talks with the Taliban and the Afghan government and substantially reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan. Now, the previous relationship that Trump established appears to have ended, as Biden’s decision to postpone the departure has enraged Taliban political officials.

“We are ready for anything,” said Haji Hekmat, the Taliban’s shadow mayor in the Balkh district. “We are totally prepared for peace, and we are fully prepared for jihad.” Sitting next to him, a military commander adds: “Jihad is an act of worship. Worship is something that, however much of it you do, you don’t get tired.”

The Biden administration has clearly expressed that all soldiers would be pulled out by August 31, therefore ending assistance for Afghan forces defending against invasion by the Kabul government. However, U.S. Army Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie indicated on Sunday that the U.S. would continue attacks in support of Afghan forces “in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks.”

Twenty years after September 11, 2001, and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. has left the Middle East in a much better position than before. It also removed possible dangers to the U.S. Family members from the United States and the Middle East have been fighting for nearly two generations, with little progress made. Now, the Biden administration faces a major challenge in keeping its word and bringing our U.S. troops home safely and expeditiously.

 

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