Blinken Visits Afghanistan After Biden Announces U.S. Troop Withdrawal

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Blinken Visits Afghanistan After Biden Announces U.S. Troop Withdrawal” – below is their description.

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought to assure senior Afghan politicians Washington remains committed to the country during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Thursday.

    Blinken made the trip to sell Afghan leaders and a wary public on President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country and end America’s longest war.

    In a meeting with Abdullah Abdullah, who heads the National Reconciliation Council, Blinken said “we have a new chapter, but it is a new chapter that we are writing together.”

    The trip comes despite Biden’s announcement a day earlier that the 2,500 U.S. soldiers remaining in the country would be coming home by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that led to the U.S. invasion in 2001.

    NATO immediately followed Biden’s lead on Wednesday, saying its roughly 7,000 non-American forces in Afghanistan would be departing within a few months, ending the foreign military presence that had been a fact of life for a generation of Afghans already reeling from more than 40 years of conflict.

    Blinken arrived in the Afghan capital from Brussels, where he and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin briefed NATO officials on the U.S. decision and won quick approval from the allies to end their Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

    Biden, Blinken, Austin have all tried to put a brave face on the pullout, maintaining that the U.S.- and NATO-led missions to Afghanistan had achieved their goal of decimating Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network that launched the 9/11 attacks and clearing the country of terrorist elements that could use Afghan soil to plot similar strikes.

    However, that argument has faced pushback from some U.S. lawmakers and human rights advocates, who say the withdrawal will result in the loss of freedoms that Afghans enjoyed after the Taliban was ousted from power in late 2001.

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