President Trump had a withdrawal date of May to bring home all troops from Afghanistan. Tuesday, multiple outlets reported the Biden administration will keep roughly 3,000 troops in Afghanistan past the May deadline, with the intention to bring them home by September 11, 2021. Biden is expected to officially announce the decision on Wednesday.
In an annual threat assessment report, U.S. intelligence agencies note the Afghan government will have difficulty defeating the Taliban. “The Afghan government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support” the report states. The U.S. is also attempting to negotiate a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government, but the Taliban has threatened to attack U.S. forces if there is no withdrawal by May 1.
Roughly 7,000 soldiers from other nations, mostly NATO personnel are currently stationed in Afghanistan along with the U.S. troops. A source familiar with the withdrawal deliberations told the Washington Post “the reality is that the United States has big strategic interests in the world, like non-proliferation, like an increasingly aggressive and assertive Russia, like North Korea and Iran.”
The source added, “the main threats to the American homeland are actually from other places: from Africa, from parts of the Middle East – Syria and Yemen…Afghanistan just does not rise to the level of those other threats at this point.”