Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Biden said in a speech Wednesday that it's "time to end America’s longest war," as his administration outlines plans to begin a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan starting May 1, with a full exit deadline of Sept. 11.

Driving the news: "I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth," Biden said. "It is time for American troops to come home."

The big picture: Biden seeks to balance two goals that have eluded the past few presidents — bring troops home while ensuring a precipitous withdrawal does not erase the work the U.S. military has done over the last 20 years.

  • Biden's planned withdrawal will ultimately not be conditions-based.
  • "We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result," he said.
Data: CRSLibrary of Congress and National Archives. Chart: Axios Visuals. *Note: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn lasted from March 2003 to December 2011. Operations against the Islamic State in Iraq officially resumed in 2014 under Operation Inherent Resolve.

What he's saying: "While we will not stay involved in Afghanistan militarily, our diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue," Biden noted. "We will keep providing assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. Along with our partners, we are training and equipping nearly 300,000 personnel."

The state of play: About 3,000 American troops and 7,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan.

  • The White House has insisted that the Taliban in Afghanistan cannot be defeated through military force and that the al-Qaeda terrorist network no longer has the resources required to execute an attack on the U.S.
  • "Rather than return to war with the Taliban, we have to focus on the challenges that will determine our standing and reach today and into the years to come," Biden said.

Zoom out: Chief Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that NATO agreed to pull its 7,000 non-American forces from Afghanistan to match Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops, AP writes.

  • Stoltenberg said the full withdrawal would be completed “within a few months."

The bottom line: "We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago," Biden concluded. "That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021."

Go deeper: Taliban to boycott peace talks until U.S. leaves Afghanistan

Go deeper

Lawmakers react to Biden's plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers boarding a helicopter in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, in October 2008. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday called President Biden's expected plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 a "grave mistake" and "abdication of American leadership."

Why it matters: Biden's expected withdrawal date is four months after the May 1 deadline the Trump administration negotiated with the Taliban last year.

Apr 13, 2021 - World

Biden seeks to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11

Photo: Amr Alfiky/New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden is expected to announce plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The decision, expected to be publicly announced Wednesday, means thousands of soldiers will remain in the country beyond the current May 1 deadline, which the Trump administration negotiated with the Taliban last year.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Apr 13, 2021 - World

Taliban to boycott peace talks until U.S. leaves Afghanistan: spokesman

Taliban negotiators in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Taliban will not attend "any conference that shall make decisions about Afghanistan" until "all foreign forces completely withdraw," a spokesperson for the group tweeted on Tuesday.

Why it matters: That's an explicit rejection of an upcoming peace conference in Istanbul. It also follows President Biden's announcement that the U.S. will withdraw its troops by Sept. 11, but miss a deadline to do so by May 1.