President Joe Biden Withdraws Troops From Afghanistan


The Borgen Project

On Aug. 31, President Joe Biden withdrew US troops from Afghanistan. The country is currently under Taliban control, leading to many civilians fleeing the country. Photo courtesy of The Borgen Project.

On Tuesday, Aug. 31,  President Joe Biden withdrew all American troops stationed in Afghanistan, ending a war of almost 2 decades. Although the US had spent years in Afghanistan in the name of eradicating al-Qaeda and nation-building, the Taliban managed to take control of many major cities only two weeks before US troops were set to depart.  

The US’s war in Afghanistan began about 20 years ago in 2001, as a result of the Taliban attack of 9/11. Fast forward 19 years to 2020, former president Donald Trump cut a deal with the Taliban ensuring the United States’ complete withdrawal from Afghanistan by the date Aug. 31, 2021. President Biden pulled all troops back to the US on this date. 

“I simply do not believe that the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops and spending billions of dollars a year in Afghanistan,” President Biden said

Following the withdrawal, Afghanistan’s police and military collapsed under a Taliban blitz across the country in a matter of days. In fear of what the Taliban’s rule might bring, great numbers of Afghans flooded Kabul’s airport in attempts of evacuating the country. 

On Thursday, Aug. 26, the Kabul Airport was bombed by the Islamic State, taking the lives of 103, consisting of 13 Americans and 90 Afghans. The first blast had been a suicide bomb at the airport’s Abbey Gate, while the second attack took place at a hotel nearby. This occurred just 5 days before the United State’s sworn departure. The attack was followed by another assault by multiple gunmen, bringing more terror to the crowds of evacuees. The US proceeded with its plans of evacuation, however the US military was instructed to create plans to strike back.

“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” President Biden said in a speech at the White House. 

With the Taliban in power, many Afghans fear for the future. Despite these devastating past few weeks, the president continues to stick with his original decision. 

“I stand squarely behind my decision,” President Biden said. “After 20 years, I´ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces. That’s why we’re still there. We were clear-eyed about the risk.”