U.S. Troops to Leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11

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U.S. Troops to Leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11

WASHINGTON—President Biden will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, effectively winding down the war there two decades after it began, officials said.

Mr. Biden is expected to announce the decision formally on Wednesday, marking the second time in less than two years that an American president has set a date to end the nation’s involvement in the Afghan conflict—the longest war in U.S. history. Last year, then-President Donald Trump reached a deal with the insurgent Taliban movement under which U.S. troops would depart by May 1.

In resetting withdrawal plans, Mr. Biden selected a symbolic target date—the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorist attacks—to define the end of an era in which the U.S. spent trillions of dollars on efforts to counter foreign extremist threats. Officials said the troop withdrawal is likely to be completed well before the Sept. 11 target date, possibly by this summer.

Some lawmakers criticized the White House’s exit plan. Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), who had also opposed Mr. Trump’s May 1 deadline, said Mr. Biden’s decision was reckless and based on a “political and not conditions-based” timeline.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.), however, noted that it has been 10 years since U.S. forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011. He said it is time to refocus national security policy while maintaining humanitarian and diplomatic support for Afghanistan.

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