President Joe Biden plans to announce Tuesday a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, according to three people familiar with the plans.
The withdrawal extends the US troop presence past a May 1 deadline set by the Trump administration in an agreement with the Taliban, but only by a matter of months.
Biden has been weighing the decision for months with his advisers and signaled he did not believe US troops should remain in the country long past the deadline.
Officials were expected to explain the decision further later on Tuesday.
The Washington Post was first to report the news.
Biden’s new September 11 deadline to withdraw US troops would mark a symbolic end to the longest war in American history: Exactly 20 years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that sparked the initial US invasion of Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan troop withdrawal is the first major decision of Biden’s presidency regarding US troops abroad, and Biden wrestled with what to do for months leading up to the May 1 deadline set by his predecessor.
Last month, Biden signaled he was unlikely to meet the May 1 deadline, but said at his first press conference as President that he did not envision US troops remaining in Afghanistan by next year.
“We are not staying for a long time. We will leave,” Biden said. “The question is when we leave.” He added, “it’s going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline just in terms of tactical reasons.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.