US President Joe Biden has announced all American forces will leave Afghanistan by this September - which marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The troop withdrawal will start May first. Biden says the exit will be done in full coordination with Washington's allies.
It's already the longest conflict in US history. Now President Biden has announced it's time for US troops to leave the country where the 9/11 terrorist plot was hatched.
The move is hugely controversial. Critics say it's an expression of fatigue, and that the US is abandoning Afghanistan to the Islamist Taliban. But Biden says, time's up.
America's NATO allies said afterwards they're joining the US in heading for the exits.
Some Afghans welcome the withdrawal of foreign troops, but others fear their departure will leave people here even more vulnerable.
Afghanistan's president says the country's military is fully capable of defending the Afghan people. That pledge will likely soon be tested.
Among the NATO troops who will leave Afghanistan by September are more than a thousand German soldiers. Germany provides the second highest number of troops on the ground - after the United States. They offer training and support to the Afghan security forces. Earlier this year, Germany agreed to extend its military deployment because of the worsening security situation. But when the US-led forces pull out, so will the German contingent.
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