Joe Biden Won't Let 9/11 Attacks Justify U.S. Continuing Afghanistan Deployment

President Joe Biden is scheduled to announce a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by September 11, a decision he says will not be influenced by the nearly 20-year-old terrorist attacks.

Excerpts released by the White House ahead of Biden's Wednesday press conference offer a glimpse at a plan to pull 2,500 U.S. armed forces from Afghanistan between May 1 and September 11. The timeline defies the 14-month period established in a February 2020 agreement signed by President Donald Trump, U.S. NATO allies and the Taliban.

The excerpts from Biden's speech offer pledges to continue providing support to Afghanistan and assist in international efforts to train its military following U.S. withdrawal.

"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," Biden will say in the speech. "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."

The proposed timeline comes almost two decades after 9/11 and the onset of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, a war that killed 2,200 U.S. troops, wounded 20,000 and cost as much as $1 trillion.

Afghanistan 2021
Policemen stand guard at a security checkpoint in Kabul on April 14, 2021. President Joe Biden is scheduled to announce on Wednesday the details of a plan to withdrawal 2,500 U.S. troops by September 11. (Photo by Zakeria HASHIMI / AFP) (Photo by ZAKERIA HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images) Zakeria HASHIM/Getty Images

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Biden says the Sept. 11 attacks "cannot explain" why U.S. forces should remain in Afghanistan 20 years later and that "it is time for American troops to come home" from the country's longest war.

Biden, in excerpts of his Wednesday speech, says the U.S. cannot continue to pour resources into an intractable war and expect different results.

Biden says he consulted with allies, military leaders, lawmakers and Vice President Kamala Harris to help make his decision to withdraw all U.S. troops by Sept. 11.

"It is time to end America's longest war," Biden says. "It is time for American troops to come home."

He also is trying to make the case that it is time to pay more attention to greater geopolitical challenges. In the early part of his presidency, Biden has spotlighted the growing economic competition with China and malign actions by Russia targeting the United States.

"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 says, according to the excerpts.

After his speech, Biden intends to visit Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery to honor the sacrifice of those who died in recent American conflicts.

A senior administration official said the September withdrawal date was an absolute deadline that won't be affected by security conditions in Afghanistan.

The conflict largely crippled al-Qaida and led to the death of Osama bin Laden, the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks. But an American withdrawal also risks many of the gains made in democracy, women's rights and governance, while ensuring that the Taliban, who provided al-Qaida's haven, remain strong and in control of large swaths of the country.