[Opinion] Withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is long overdue


President Joe Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, about the withdrawal of the remainder of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. (Andrew Harnik/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)

Braeden Kravitz, Writer

On Wednesday, April 14, President Joe Biden announced his plan to withdraw all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, the 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks against the United States. This decision was determined heavily on support from both political, and international leaders.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the administration had come up with a plan to withdraw U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by May 1 as a last minute goodbye. Although this plan did not go through, President Biden is working in accordance with President Trump’s proposal and is starting the process of withdrawing troops on May 1.

This decision to withdraw troops may seem like a poor decision because it makes the U.S. look like it is running away. Although all countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have decided to withdraw their troops on Sept. 11, the European Union countries associated with the U.S. and NATO will from then on have to keep the Taliban in check.

The entire decision has been disclosed with Taliban and Afghan officials. Taliban spokesman Muhammad Naeed tweeted on Tuesday that the Taliban would not take part or support any peace-summit until “all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland.” This was a major setback in the plan to create peace with the Taliban.

Afghan politician Fawzia Koofi tweeted soon after, “No war will end with war. The next few months should be spent trying to create peace. The Taliban wanted a US exit, they got it. What we want now from the Taliban is peace and life in dignity and harmony.” 

The problem with the U.S. backing out of Afghanistan is that it may make the world more vulnerable to what the Taliban is capable of. If troops are withdrawn, does this give the Taliban more time to rebuild and make themselves even stronger than they were before? This is a common question running through the minds of many politicians and world leaders.

Pulling troops out of Afghanistan on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 is not only for the sense of anniversary. Over the many troops that the U.S. has had on the ground in Afghanistan, there will be no true game changer by keeping the remaining 2,500 troops in the state. Many politicians feel it may be a better idea instead of continuously spending money, resources and troops, we take that money and use it to improve relations with countries, and especially use it for training the lesser developed militaries of countries around us.

Many Republicans are upset with President Biden for not following President Trump’s proposal because they believe the quicker we withdraw troops the better we will be. However, President Biden’s plan to withdraw troops only a few months later will end up helping everybody because US officials plan to quickly withdraw and constantly support Afghan homeland with diplomatic, and financial support.

Over the past 20 years, there have been 3,577n fatalities in Afghanistan on US troops alone. By withdrawing troops now, instead of a few years from now, President Joe Biden hopes to save money, troops’ lives and, more importantly, focus on problems occurring in our homeland. The longer U.S. troops stay deployed in Afghanistan, the less patient the Taliban will be, creating more possible risk for the remaining troops in Afghanistan.