1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, watched CH-47 Chinook helicopters fly overhead during a dust storm at Forward Operating Base Cochamond, Afghanistan, 17 July, while preparing for an air attack mission.

Photo of the US Army

President Joe Biden will withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan by September, a senior administration official said on Tuesday, falling behind the crucial May 1 deadline that the Trump administration had previously brokered.

Biden’s expulsion of US forces will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that brought the country into its longest war. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the withdrawal of US and foreign forces from the war-torn country could take place well before September.

“We will re-establish our counterterrorism capabilities while preserving important assets in the region to face the possibility of a re-emergence of a terrorist threat to the homeland from Afghanistan and oblige the Taliban to make sure that Al Qaeda does not threaten the United States or our interests again. Or our allies,” the official said, adding that the administration understood That “military force will not solve Afghanistan’s domestic political challenges.”

In February 2020, the The Trump administration brokered a deal with the Taliban This would herald a permanent ceasefire and further reduce the US military presence from about 13,000 troops to 8,600 by mid-July of last year.

By May 2021, all foreign forces will leave Afghanistan, according to the deal. The majority of the troops in the country are from Europe and the partner countries. There are currently about 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan.

US Marines conduct a security patrol in southern Shoresrak, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, during Operation New Dawn, June 20, 2010.

United States Marine Corps photo

Biden told reporters last month During his first press conference He has yet to meet the deadline of May 1.

“It will be difficult to meet the deadline of May 1,” Biden said, adding, “It is not my intention to stay there for long.”

When asked if American service personnel will stay in Afghanistan for another year, Biden said he does not see that the case.

“We will not stay for long. We will leave, and the question is when to leave,” the president said, adding that his administration was in consultations with NATO allies and partners in the region.

The announcement comes as Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meet with NATO partners in Brussels. NATO joined the international security effort in Afghanistan in 2003 and currently has more than 7,000 troops in the country.

The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria have cost American taxpayers more than $ 1.57 trillion collectively since September 11, 2001, according to Defense Department report.

Read more: A study group said Biden should keep US forces in Afghanistan past the May deadline