In perhaps the most significant foreign policy news so far in the Biden administration, the White House has announced that all US troops will be leaving Afghanistan by September 11, 2021 — the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. When Biden took office, he reneged on the commitment Trump had with the Taliban to remove American troops by May 1st. Biden wanted to put a pause on geopolitical agreements set up by the former president to make sure they were done sensibly. One cynical reaction to this move at the time was that Biden would keep the United States in forever wars, whereas in contrast, Trump was the peace-seeker who was going to bring the troops home. In truth, Biden just wanted to evaluate if Trump could do anything right and concluded that the speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan made sense.
Officially there are 2,500 US troops left in Afghanistan but the real number is closer to 3,500. There are an additional 7,000 foreign forces there as well, most of which are NATO troops. Some military advisers want the US to remain in Afghanistan indefinitely, perhaps for decades like it has done in Europe and Japan. Others are war weary and realize now may be as good a time as ever to get out of the Middle East. Biden says he wants the withdrawal to not be conditions-based, meaning troops should be out by September 11th no matter what. The question that follows is whether the region will lose stability without the US involved and if it will fall to extremist hands.--
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