US President Joe Biden plans to publically set the deadline for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan to 11 September, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, CNN, the New York Times and The Washington Post have reported, citing administration sources.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced later Tuesday that the president would deliver remarks laying out his troop withdrawal plans on Wednesday.
“The president has been consistent in his view that there’s not a military solution to Afghanistan, that we’ve been there for far too long,” Psaki said, speaking to reporters in Washington.
The new deadline is well over four months beyond the original 1 May withdrawal deadline agreed by the Trump administration with the signing of the peace agreement with the Taliban in Doha in February 2020.
Trump reduced troop numbers occupying Afghanistan from 14,000 to 2,500 apiece by the time he left office in January 2021, (although it’s subsequently been reported that as many as 1,000 more troops were not included in the latter calculation). Biden froze the withdrawal, leading to fears of a further destabilization of the situation in the Central Asian nation after the 1 May deadline passes.