After nearly two decades of fruitless occupation, the last western forces—a few thousand mostly-American troops—are to leave Afghanistan. President Joe Biden called for the withdrawal to be complete before Sept. 11, the twentieth anniversary of the terror attacks that led to the US-led invasion. Former President Trump had already tentatively agreed to leave the country in May as part of his administration's talks with the Afghan government and its Taliban enemies.
The official said Biden had arrived at that determination after a "rigorous" policy review and believes the threat to the U.S. emanating from Afghanistan is at a level that can be addressed without a persistent military footprint in the country. The president is expected make an official announcement on Wednesday. "We've long known that military force would not solve Afghanistan's internal political challenges, would not end Afghanistan's internal conflicts, and so we are ending our military operations while we focus our efforts on supporting diplomatically the ongoing peace process," the official said.