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President Biden Announces All US Combat Troops Will Be Out Of Afghanistan By Sept. 11

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CBS4's Debra Alfarone has the latest out of DC.

Video Transcript

LAUREN PASTRANA: Turning now to the Biden presidency, President Joe Biden has announced all US combat troops will be out of Afghanistan by September 11. That's 20 years to the date of the 9/11 attacks that al-Qaeda terrorists coordinated from Afghanistan. Critics say the hard end date could lead to more chaos and given the Taliban free reign to reinstitute harsh Islamic rule. CBS 4's Debra Alfarone reports from Washington.

JOE BIDEN: Good afternoon.

DEBRA ALFARONE: President Biden says it is time to end America's longest war, announcing all US combat troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11.

JOE BIDEN: 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.

DEBRA ALFARONE: The deadline marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that started the war. The president says his decision is based on al-Qaeda no longer posing a threat to the US homeland and seeing no military solution to the problems there.

JOE BIDEN: While we'll not stay involved in Afghanistan militarily, our diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue. We'll continue to support the government of Afghanistan.

DEBRA ALFARONE: Some 3,300 US troops will start leaving May 1, a date the Trump administration had previously negotiated for all of them to be out. On Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voiced opposition to the pullout, echoing concerns the Taliban that controls a portion of the country and harbored al-Qaeda will regain a foothold and reinstate harsh Islamic law.

MITCH MCCONNELL: Apparently, we're to help our adversaries ring in the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by gift wrapping the country and handing it right back to them.

DEBRA ALFARONE: The war cost the US taxpayers trillions of dollars and saw more than 2,400 American lives lost. President Biden visited Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery after his speech, honoring the sacrifice of troops who died in Afghanistan. Debra Alfarone, CBS News, Washington.

LAUREN PASTRANA: Even President Biden's own intelligence advisors believe the Taliban is likely to make gains on the battlefield when US troops leave. Taliban officials say they see the president's announcement as a four-month extension. They've withdrawn from scheduled peace negotiations and are warning of consequences.