Biden confirms troop draw down to start on May 1

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday night officially confirmed that American troops withdrawal from Afghanistan will start on May 1.

He said the withdrawal process would be finished by September 11 – the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States.

Biden said: “It is time to end America’s longest war. It is time for American troops to come home from Afghanistan.”

He said the US will begin its withdrawal on May and that it will not be a “hasty rush to the exit.”

He stated that if the Taliban attacks, the US will defend itself and partners with “all the tools at our disposal.”

Biden said that while the US will not stay in Afghanistan militarily it will continue to stand by the Afghans and assist with humanitarian needs and will continue to support women in the country.

He also said the US will call on countries in the region, including Pakistan, to do more for Afghanistan.

He said America went in to Afghanistan 20 years ago after being attacked and that 10 years ago the threat of Osama bin Laden was eliminated but that they stayed for another 10 years.

According to him, a close review of their presence in Afghanistan was done in consultation with a wide array of stakeholders but that the US now needs to focus on new threats along with other challenges including the coronavirus pandemic.

He said “we will reorganize counter-terrorism” initiatives and Washington will focus its full attention on terrorism threats wherever they arise – “not only in Afghanistan”.