Biden to withdraw all USA troops from Afghanistan by September 11

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That doesn't mean the Biden administration should slip the estimated 3,500 remaining USA troops out while Americans are distracted, but that the lack of clear options suggests the president would encounter little significant political opposition from a nation exhausted of war.

Some 2,500 USA troops remain in Afghanistan, and as many as 1,000 more Special Operations forces are also reported to be in the country.

"I find it ironic that, given the sacrifices we've made to move Afghanistan forward, prevent another 9/11, and ensure the enduring defeat of al Qaeda* and ISIS*, that on the 20th anniversary of the attack we're paving the way for another attack", he said.

In the end, he made a decision to do neither and will order a complete withdrawal other than limited United States personnel to guard the United States installations including the imposing embassy in Kabul.

For Afghans the fighting will likely grind on.

The US president has repeatedly hinted in recent weeks that the Trump administration-negotiated deadline would not be met, saying on March 25 it would be "hard to meet" that timeline.

"There is no military solution to the problems plaguing Afghanistan, and we will focus our efforts on supporting the ongoing peace process", the senior administration official said. The official spoke shortly after USA intelligence released a threat assessment report warning that the embattled Afghan government "will struggle" to hold off the "confident" Taliban if the US-led coalition withdraws.

Despite broad, long-standing support across the political spectrum for withdrawing troops, a threat assessment released by the intelligence community on Tuesday said it was likely the Taliban would still a pose a threat to the country's democratic government in the event the USA leaves.

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"Afghan forces continue to secure major cities and other government strongholds, but they remain tied down in defensive missions and have struggled to hold recaptured territory or reestablish a presence in areas abandoned in 2020", it said.

Biden is expected to make a formal announcement on the troop withdrawal on Wednesday.

A rise of the Taliban has also raised fears among many Afghan women. The official warned against any such action as the process to pull USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces from the county proceeds, saying any attacks "on United States troops will be met with a forceful response". "What we won't do is use our troops as a bargaining chip in that process", a government official told the Washington Post, which first reported the development.

The Trump administration also tried to pave the way for peace negotiations between the internationally recognized Afghan government and the Taliban - although talks have since faltered.

The 24 April - 4 May conference will aim to lead to "a roadmap to a future political settlement and an end to the conflict", the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We will take the time we need to execute that, and no more time than that", he said.

The withdrawal will miss a May 1 deadline that had been established by the Trump administration in a deal with the Taliban previous year, which included provisions for peace talks between Afghanistan's government and the Taliban that have since faltered.

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