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Biden will wait until Sept. 11 to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan

Will not meet May 1 deadline set by Trump
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris
Posted at 12:12 PM, Apr 13, 2021

President Joe Biden will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 — the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania — officials told the New York Times and the Washington Post Tuesday.

The decision means that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond the May 1 deadline announced in December by then-President Donald Trump.

According to the Times, officials said that Biden hopes to avoid further violence in the region.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Tuesday that Biden would "lay out more specifics" in remarks on Wednesday.

The May 1 deadline was part of a peace deal the Trump administration brokered with the Taliban in February 2020. The deadline reduced troops in Afghanistan throughout 2020 and required all U.S. troops to be withdrawn by May 1.

At a press conference last month, Biden said it would be "hard" to meet the May 1 deadline, but added that he didn't intend for troops to remain in Afghanistan for long.

The reports prompted criticism from Republican lawmakers on Tuesday. Fox News reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the decision a "grave mistake."

"It is a retreat in the face of an enemy that has not yet been vanquished," McConnell said, according to Fox News.

At the White House press briefing Tuesday, Psaki declined to give more specifics about Biden's plans, but responded to McConnell's remarks directly.

"The president has been consistent in his view that there is not a military solution in Afghanistan and that we have been there far too long," Psaki said, adding that "we need to focus our resources on the threats we face today."