Washington: US President Joe Biden announced that the American military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31. He had previously set the date - September 11 to withdraw all the troops from Afghan soil. Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that over 90% of the operation has already been completed.
Senior defence officials had told Biden that moving swiftly with the plan is the most effective method to keep the US troops safe. No service members had been lost in the withdrawal process so far, reported The Guardian.
"In this context, speed is safety," said the US President.
Last week, American troops left their main Afghan airbase at Bagram, north of Kabul in the middle of the night, without even telling their Afghan military counterparts, said the report.
Joe Biden pledged yesterday that he will not send "another generation of Americans" to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome. He has been against the policy for years and issued the order to withdraw troops soon after he became president.
The president expressed appreciation for all the US troops who had been given the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. He also extended words to those who returned to American soil with physical and mental injuries.
He pointed out that 2,448 Americans had been killed and another 20,722 had been wounded during the military operations in Afghanistan. He warned that remaining in Afghanistan would mean additional US casualties to continue a war started two decades ago.
The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said that the US is not going to have a "mission accomplished" moment in this regard because it is a 20-year war that has not been won militarily.
"We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build. And it's the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country," he added.
Biden said that the US will continue to provide civilian and humanitarian assistance" in Afghanistan, including defending the rights of the country's women and girls. He also assured that the who assisted US troops will be protected by the country.
Retired Maj Gen James "Spider," Marks told CNN that Afghanistan is most likely to go through a civil war after the withdrawal of US troops. Taliban is gearing up to take control of vital chunks of the country. It is also leaving the space to create a "breeding ground" for terrorism by Islamist fundamentalists.