President Biden has promised Afghan President Ghani to remain a lasting partner, although he wants to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September. He did so during Ghani’s visit to Washington.
Biden wants 2,500 military and 16,000 hired support personnel to leave Afghanistan by September. This ends a twenty-year period of American presence and struggle against the Taliban and al-Qaida in the country. America invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attack because the Taliban, then in power, protected terrorists like Osama bin Laden.
Since 2001, 2,400 soldiers have been killed and 20,000 wounded. Biden wants the military to leave on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, but says he won’t abandon the Afghans.
The announced troop withdrawal has created uncertainty within the Afghan government. He fears the Taliban will strengthen itself and the country will fall back to a time when extremist Islamists were in power and a brutal version of Islam was imposed, such as in the late 1990s.
Ghani’s visit takes place the week the newspaper The Wall Street Journal revealed that US intelligence estimates his government could fall within six months of the military’s withdrawal.
In recent weeks, the Taliban have again attacked dozens of neighborhoods and surrounded towns. Something that has happened continuously in recent years, but which is being watched more carefully in light of the announced troop withdrawal.
The American media compare it to the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam in 1973. Two years later, the government of South Vietnam supported by the United States fell and the North Vietnamese communists took over.
Biden won’t back down on his decision. His announcement is a means of pressure on the Afghan government to find an agreement with the Taliban to put an end to the attacks. Negotiations have been underway in Qatar since last September, but without concrete results. The Taliban want to control the country.