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Biden Officials Say World-Wide Concerns And Terrorism Justify Afghanistan Pullout

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The Wall Street Journal

Biden Officials Say World-Wide Concerns And Terrorism Justify Afghanistan Pullout

Resources are needed to confront terrorist groups in a variety of countries, officials say

By William Mauldin

Shifting U.S. security priorities and a dispersed terrorist threat justify President Biden’s planned pullout this year of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, senior administration officials said Sunday.

“The terrorism threat has moved to other places, and we have other very important items on our agenda, including the relationship with China,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on ABC’s “This Week”.

In recent days, Mr. Biden and senior officials have sought to defend the troop withdrawal by Sept. 11 of this year, saying Washington will retain the ability to monitor and target militants in Afghanistan and gain greater ability to counter threats around the world.

The exit plan runs counter to the recommendations of Mr. Biden’s top military commanders, who feared it could undermine security in the country.

Afghanistan hasn’t recently been a major drain on U.S. military resources, with 2,500 or so troops currently stationed there. Still, the Biden administration emphasized that the main mission there starting in 2001 was to stop plots from al Qaeda, part of a landscape that differs from the current global terrorist threat.

Full story https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-officials-say-world-wide-concerns-and-terrorism-justify-afghanistan-pullout-11618775947