April 15, 2021 - 12:14 AMT
Biden says all U.S., Nato troops will leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11

U․S․ president Joe Biden has declared it was time “to end America’s longest war” as he announced that nearly 10,000 U․S․ and Nato troops would return home from Afghanistan in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of 9/11․ The Guardian reports.

Addressing the world from the White House, Biden said 2,500 U.S. troops plus a further 7,000 from “Nato allies” would gradually leave the country starting on May 1. “The plan has long been in together, out together,” he added.

“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdrawal and expecting a different result,” Biden said in a late afternoon speech.

Biden said he was the fourth president to preside over the U.S.-led fight against the Taliban. “I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth,” he said, and added he had told his predecessor, George Bush, who first ordered troops into the country in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Twin Towers, of his decision.

The plan was debated at a Nato summit in Brussels earlier on Wednesday, April 14. Member states did not oppose the plans for a full withdrawal once the US has made its intentions clear earlier this week, partly because they cannot guarantee the security of their own forces without the presence of the U.S..

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