May 16, 2021

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Biden news live: US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan underway


Barack Obama reveals what he said in final call before Osama bin Laden was killed

The final withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and of the US’s “forever war” is formally beginning almost 20 years after the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 that triggered the conflict.

According to Biden administration officials, the removal of the US’s remaining force of roughly 2,500 to 3,5000 troops was ongoing before the official starting date of 1 May on Saturday — a marker of an agreement between the Taliban and Afghan forces, and the Trump administration.

By the end of the summer, almost all US and NATO forces in Afghanistan will have departed, and with it — the start of a reckoning for the cost of the conflict, and the tens of thousands of livelihoods lost because of it.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan comes after the announced on Friday that all contracts for the border wall with Mexico will be axed by the Biden administration and the Pentagon.

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Afghan capital on ‘high alert’ as US withdraw

Security in the Afghan capital of Kabul was ramped up on Saturday as officials braced for a reaction from insurgent Taliban forces as US troops began to formally withdraw from the country.

The 1 May deadline follows an agreed between the Taliban and Afghan forces in 2020 with the Trump administration.

It was afterwards revised by Joe Biden, who announced last month that all US troops will depart by the summer.

According to Reuters, attacks against Afghans are rising following the Taliban’s rebuttal of president Biden and of the delay to America’s withdrawal by months.

Despite the threats, US officials have been talking to the Taliban in order to avert attacks on Afghans or foreign officials in the weeks ahead.

Gino Spocchia1 May 2021 12:25

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What remains of US’s ‘forever war’

In the years following the US invasion of Afghanistan, tens of thousands of Afghans and 2,442 American troops have been killed, millions of Afghans forced to flee their homes, and billions of dollars spent on war and reconstruction.

With the final withdraw of American forces from the country beginning on 1 May, commentators will be asking: Was it worth it?

Gino Spocchia1 May 2021 12:10

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Contracts for Trump’s border wall axed

Mexico never paid for it — and in fact, the US military arguably did — and so on Friday, almost four years after former US president Donald Trump won the White House with an anti-immigrant and pro-border pitch to voters, the border wall project is finally being dismantled.

That is, not the actual miles of wall already built on the southern border, but what is remaining of the million dollar initiative.

Jamal Brown, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, said in a statement on Friday that the decision “reflects this Administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families.”

Gino Spocchia1 May 2021 11:56

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Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of Joe Biden’s administration and the world of US politics.

Gino Spocchia1 May 2021 11:47