From The Washington Post:
President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, people familiar with the plans said, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that first drew the United States into its longest war…
Biden’s decision comes after an administration review of U.S. options in Afghanistan, where U.S.-midwived peace talks have failed to advance as hoped and the Taliban remains a potent force despite two decades of effort by the United States to defeat the militants and establish stable, democratic governance. The war has cost trillions of dollars in addition to the lives of more than 2,000 U.S. service members and at least 100,000 Afghan civilians.
“This is the immediate, practical reality that our policy review discovered,” the person familiar with the deliberations said. “If we break the May 1st deadline negotiated by the previous administration with no clear plan to exit, we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest.”
I’m about as far from a military strategist as it’s possible for a human being to be, having lost every game of Risk I ever played and failing even to advance from Brownie to Girl Scout in the only uniformed service organization I ever joined. That said, I think this is the right decision — the only decision under the circumstances.
Kudos to Biden and his team for making this decision when there was probably a ton of pressure to keep having a go at an exhausting, futile and ultimately losing effort. I hope they are generous with visas and other appropriate assistance to people in Afghanistan who’ve risked their lives to help US and NATO service members.