Inside Story

How will US troop withdrawal affect Afghanistan?

President Joe Biden will withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

It has been the United States’ longest-running war, but now it looks set to end.

President Joe Biden plans to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.

That is exactly 20 years after the invasion was ordered by then-President George W. Bush, following the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.

The planned withdrawal will miss a May 1 deadline for a pull-out that the Trump administration agreed with the Taliban last year.

The US has 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of a NATO mission.

It has spent trillions of dollars on the conflict and lost more than 2,000 service members since 2001.

Washington says it will reposition its troops in the region to keep an eye on Afghanistan.

But some US officials have criticised the decision as a grave mistake that could embolden the Taliban and lead to more violence.

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Fahim Sadat – Political analyst and head of the international relations department at Kardan University

David DesRoches – Former Pentagon official and associate professor at the National Defense University

Victoria Fontan – Professor of peace studies at the American University of Afghanistan