The United States will withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan in the coming months until completing its military exit from the country on September 11, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the Twin Towers. This has been assured sources familiar with the plans to ‘The Washington Post’, who also point out that President Joe Biden will announce this measure this Wednesday.
The White House decision means extending its presence in the Asian country for four more months, as the Trump Administration had agreed with the Taliban on its withdrawal for May 1. The Taliban threatened to reprimand their attacks on US and NATO troops if the deadline was not met. It is unknown how the new withdrawal plan advanced on Tuesday will affect the stability of the region.
There are currently some 2,500 US soldiers on Afghan soil, as well as another 7,000 foreign troops, most from the Atlantic Alliance.
A country at permanent war
The jihadist attacks of September 11, 2001 against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon led George W. Bush to start a war that officially ended in 2014. However, the war has continued to rage ever since, leading the United States to a situation that he cannot solve and from which, until now, he has not been able to escape.
Since then, that perpetual war has caused more than 150,000 deaths (the vast majority Afghan civilians) as well as 1.2 million displaced people, according to Amnesty International. The economic cost to Washington has been in the billions of dollars.
Last month Biden already advanced that he did not expect troops to be deployed to Afghanistan next year. “We will go. The question in when,” he said. The decision that his executive will announce tomorrow is due to the lack of progress in the peace talks with the Taliban.
“If we break the May 1 deadline negotiated by the previous Administration without a clear exit plan, we will once again be at war with the Taliban, and that was not something that President Biden believed in the national interest,” says the source quoted by the ‘Washington Post’.
The same source emphasizes that in this new era the US has other strategic concerns at the international level, “such as non-proliferation, such an increasingly aggressive and assertive Russia ” and the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran . Likewise, the White House considers that there are new threats coming from other nations in Africa or the Middle East such as Syria or Yemen.
Some officials have warned that a US exit will cause the Kabul government to collapse and jeopardize the gains made in the past two decades in the areas of health, education and women’s rights.
Tension with Russia
On the other hand, in full escalation due to Russia’s threats to Ukraine , Biden called on Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin to demand that he “lower tensions” and propose that he hold a summit “in a third country in the coming months” with the aim of establishing “a stable and predictable relationship” between the two powers, according to a statement issued by the White House, reports Marc Marginedas .
The call came after Russia deployed a military device along the common border with Ukraine a few days ago, unmatched since 2014, when the Crimean peninsula was annexed. The Kremlin, the Government of Kiev and the Atlantic Alliance have continued during the day this Tuesday to reinforce their military and naval deployment in the Black Sea.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov has warned Atlantic Alliance ships to stay away from Crimea using words similar to those used in crisis episodes in the 20th century cold war. For his part, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has accused Russia of trying to re-edit a zone of influence in the immediate vicinity of its borders.
During the conversation with Putin, Biden also conveyed to him “that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as its cyber intrusions and electoral interference,” the statement said.