President Biden has promised Afghan President Ghani to remain a permanent partner, even though he wants to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan by September. He did so during Ghani’s visit to Washington.
Biden wants 2,500 troops and 16,000 designated support personnel to leave Afghanistan by September. This ends the twenty-year period of the American presence and the struggle against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the country. America invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attack because the Taliban, then in power, were protecting terrorists like Osama bin Laden.
Since 2001, 2,400 soldiers have been killed and 20,000 wounded. Biden wants the troops out to celebrate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, but says he won’t abandon the Afghans.
The announced withdrawal of troops created uncertainty among the Afghan government. He worries that the Taliban is gaining strength and that the country could return to the period when radical Islamists were in power and a brutal version of Islam was imposed, as happened in the late 1990s.
Ghani’s visit comes as the newspaper revealed to the Wall Street Journal that US intelligence agencies estimate that his government may fall within six months of the withdrawal of forces.
In recent weeks, the Taliban have again attacked dozens of neighborhoods and besieged cities. Something that has been constantly happening in recent years, but is watched more carefully in light of the announced withdrawal of troops.
The US media compares it with the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam in 1973. Two years later, the US-backed government of South Vietnam fell and the North Vietnamese communist took over.
Biden will not back down. His announcement is seen as a way to pressure the Afghan government to reach an agreement with the Taliban to end the attacks. Negotiations have continued in Qatar since last September, but without tangible results. The Taliban wants to control the country.