Progressive lawmakers and peace activists on Tuesday welcomed news that President Joe Biden plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, a move that if accompanied by an end to U.S.-led airstrikes would end the longest war in American history.
Although Biden’s decision—which is expected to be formally announced this week—means the U.S. will miss the May 1 withdrawal deadline set by former President Donald Trump during peace negotiations with the Taliban last year, progressive Democrats nevertheless hailed the impending end of a nearly 20-year war that has killed tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and around 3,500 coalition troops.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)—who cast the lone dissenting vote in a Congress whose members voted 518-1 to authorize the war following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States—called Biden’s imminent announcement “incredibly encouraging news.”
Biden “will be fulfulling his promise to finally end the longest war in America’s history,” Lee tweeted. “This is such a critical step toward ending forever wars and ushering in global peace.”