Biden to pull U.S. Afghanistan troops by 9/11

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U.S. President Joe Biden plans to withdraw the remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11th.. U.S. officials said Tuesday,

That's exactly 20 years to the day after al Qaeda's 9/11 attacks on the U.S. that triggered America's longest war.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the shift - which president Biden will announce on Wednesday - reflects changing priorities.

"The president has been consistent in his view that there's not a military solution to Afghanistan...He also believes we need to focus our resources on fighting the threats we face today, 20 years, almost 20 years after the war began."

Also on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are expected to brief the decision to NATO allies in Brussels.

The disclosure of the plan came on the same day that the U.S. intelligence community released a gloomy outlook for Afghanistan, forecasting "low" chances of a peace deal this year.

There are about 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan currently, down from a peak of more than 100,000 in 2011. About 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in the line of duty there and many thousands more wounded.

Biden's decision would miss a May 1 deadline for withdrawal agreed with Taliban insurgents by former President Donald Trump's administration.

In a statement last month, the Taliban threatened to resume hostilities against foreign troops in Afghanistan if they did not meet the May 1 deadline.

A U.S. official told Reuters the pullout would not be subject to further conditions, noting a "conditions-based approach" would be a "recipe" for staying in Afghanistan "forever."

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