The international community is withdrawing its armed forces from Afghanistan. The NATO mission in the country ends on September 11th. The United States is now announcing that its withdrawal is proceeding rapidly.
According to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is progressing rapidly. “As you know, the President has instructed us to withdraw our forces by the beginning of September,” said Austin on Thursday (local time) at a hearing of the US Congress on the budget proposal for the coming year. “I can tell you today that the withdrawal is going according to plan, in fact a little faster than planned.” US President Joe Biden announced in mid-April that American troops would withdraw by September 11th at the latest. This also ends the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
“We have completed the mission our troops were sent to Afghanistan to do,” Austin said. He is proud of the “brave men and women who made this possible and of those who gave their lives for this mission”. The US armed forces announced on Tuesday that the withdrawal from Afghanistan was “between 16 percent and 25 percent” complete.
The Biden government argues that the aim of the operation was to end the threat posed by the al-Qaeda terrorist network in Afghanistan. September 11th marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington, attributed to al-Qaeda, which triggered the invasion of Afghanistan by US-led forces. Within a few weeks, the military operation led to the overthrow of the Taliban regime, which had refused to extradite Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was killed by a US special command in Pakistan in May 2011.