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Britain to withdraw nearly all its troops from Afghanistan: Report

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KABUL: Britain will withdraw nearly all its troops from Afghanistan following the U.S. plan to withdraw its troops by Sept. 11, 2021, The Times reported on Wednesday.

The United Kingdom has drawn up plans to hand over control of the academy in Kabul where troops help to train Afghan soldiers to the government, the newspaper said.

There are about 750 British soldiers in Afghanistan who would struggle without U.S. support because of the reliance on U.S. bases and infrastructure, according to the Times.

This comes as White House official said that “after a rigorous policy review, President Biden has decided to draw down remaining US troops from Afghanistan, and finally end the US war there after 20 years.”

“We will begin an orderly drawdown of the remaining forces before May 1, and plan to have all US troops out of the country before the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” the official said.

According to the official, the withdrawal will not be conditions based. 

“The President has judged that a conditions-based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.  And so, he has reached the conclusion that the United States will complete its drawdown and will remove its forces from Afghanistan before September 11,” according to the official.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that “President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, people familiar with the plans said, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that first drew the United States into its longest war.” 

According to the report, Biden is expected to announce his decision on Wednesday. 

“This is the immediate, practical reality that our policy review discovered,” the person familiar with the deliberations said. “If we break the May 1st deadline negotiated by the previous administration with no clear plan to exit, we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest.” 

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