"It's time to come home." America and NATO allies to end war in Afghanistan.
Foreign troops under NATO command, including Australia's, will withdraw from Afghanistan in coordination with a US pull-out by September 11, NATO allies have agreed, pledging to mirror American plans to start removing troops on May 1 after two decades of war.
Around 7000 non-US forces from mainly NATO countries, also from Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, outnumber the 2500 US troops in Afghanistan, but still rely on American air support, planning and leadership for their training mission.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, said the decision was tough.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Brussels that it was time for NATO allies to make good on their mantra that allies went into Afghanistan together and would leave together https://t.co/PKkApcWbZF pic.twitter.com/7Esbi7V43O— Reuters (@Reuters) April 14, 2021
"This is not an easy decision, and it entails risks. As I said for many months, we face a dilemma. Because the alternative to leaving in an orderly fashion is to be prepared for a long-term, open-ended military commitment with potentially more NATO troops," Stoltenberg told a news conference.
Biden gave a speech on Wednesday in Washington announcing the US withdrawal, saying that "it's time to end the forever war."
Pres. Biden: "No one wants to say that we should be in Afghanistan forever. But they insist now is not the right moment to leave...When will it be the right moment to leave? One more year? Two more years? 10 more years?"— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 14, 2021
"That's how we got here." https://t.co/GfGTpZeFKR pic.twitter.com/BQPD7HhdrE