President Joe Biden says he will withdraw remaining U.S. troops from the "forever war” in Afghanistan, declaring that the Sept. 11 terror attacks of 20 years ago cannot justify American forces still dying in the nation's longest war. (April 14)
- I've concluded that it's time to end America's longest war. It's time for American troops to come home. The United States will begin our final withdrawal beginning on May 1 of this year. We will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit. We'll do it responsibly, deliberately, and safely, and we will do it in full coordination with our allies and partners, who now have more forces in Afghanistan than we do. And the Taliban should know that if they attack us as we draw down, we will defend ourselves and our partners with all the tools at our disposal.
We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdrawal and expecting a different result. I'm now the fourth United States president to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan-- two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility onto a fifth.
I'm going to visit Arlington National Cemetery, section 60. In that sacred memorial to American sacrifice, section 60 is where our recent war dead are buried, including many of the women and men who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. There's no comforting distance in history in section 60. The grief is raw. It's a visceral reminder of the living cost of war.
War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking. We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead, and Al-Qaeda is degraded in Iraq-- in Afghanistan. And it's time to end the forever war.