President Biden is giving an update Thursday on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.
When Mr. Biden announced in mid-April that the U.S. military would leave Afghanistan by September 11, about 3,500 troops remained. The Pentagon said earlier this week that the withdrawal was 90% complete.
How to watch President Biden’s remarks on Afghanistan today
What: President Biden gives an update on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan
Date: Thursday, July 8, 2021
Time: 1:45 p.m. ET
U.S. forces last week exited Bagram Airfield, the largest American base in the country. The turnover of Bagram to the Afghan National Security Forces completed the U.S. transfer of all seven bases to Afghanistan, in effect, finishing the logistical part of the withdrawal.
Mr. Biden has said the U.S. will continue to have a diplomatic presence in the country. To maintain an embassy in Kabul, several hundred troops will remain for protection, and more could support the security of Kabul International Airport.
As U.S. troops have been withdrawing, the Taliban has been steadily seizing more territory. In the past two months, it has taken control of more than 80 of the 407 districts in Afghanistan, according to the Long War Journal, which closely tracks the conflict. In the past week alone, the Taliban has taken 10% of the country, currently controlling 195 districts.
Along with the withdrawal of troops, the U.S. is still working on airlifting over 60,000 Afghans — 18,000and their families — out of the country to protect them from Taliban reprisals. Mr. Biden has promised that the Afghans who have risked so much to help the U.S. “are not going to be left behind.”