President Biden has decided to withdraw all American soldiers from Afghanistan by September 11, multiple outlets reported on Tuesday.
Biden will keep around 3,000 troops in Afghanistan past the May withdrawal date called for by the Trump administration, U.S. officials told the New York Times. However, those troops would be brought home by the fall.
Biden is expected to announce the decision on Wednesday. In addition to U.S. troops, about 7,000 soldiers from other nations are currently stationed in the country, most of them NATO personnel.
The U.S. is currently attempting to negotiate a peace deal between the Afghan government and Taliban fighters. The Taliban has threatened to attack U.S. forces if there is no withdrawal by May 1.
“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,” and China, a person familiar with withdrawal deliberations told the Washington Post. “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.”
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that the Afghan government will have difficulty countering offensives from the Taliban, in an annual threat assessment report.
“The Afghan government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support,” the report states.