President Joe Biden announced this month his intention to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, which is not a moment too soon.

President Joe Biden announced this month his intention to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, which is not a moment too soon.

Biden’s target date will mark 20 years since members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group hijacked four commercial airliners and used them to attack and destroy both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and damage the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The fourth airliner, presumed to be aimed at the U.S. Capitol building, crashed in rural Pennsylvania as passengers were mounting a counter-attack against the terrorists who had taken over the plane.

In the invasion of Afghanistan that followed, U.S. forces drove the Taliban, which provided support to Al-Qaeda, from power.

Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda who was behind the attacks, was killed in May 2011.

U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history, with today’s service members entering a war that began before they were born.

Over 2,300 military personnel have been killed in Afghanistan and over 20,000 have been wounded. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the total military expenditure in Afghanistan as of 2019 was about $778 billion.

While instability in the region is a real concern, we cannot commit to keeping troops there indefinitely.

We initially entered the region because our nation was attacked on home soil. Those responsible have been defeated or killed.

The Taliban and those who follow similar ideologies are likely to continue to be a problem in the region, and our exit strategy should be well-planned to equip our allies in the Afghan Armed Forces to combat this threat.

President Biden and his military advisors should develop a plan for troop withdrawal that does not compromise the mission’s goals. Ideally, we do not want to leave Afghanistan worse than when we arrived.

If it proves necessary to leave some troops in the region past Sept. 11, then clear and attainable objectives should be set.

However, we cannot afford to continue to expend resources and, most importantly, the lives of our service members in a prolonged conflict that has no foreseeable end.

Our military members have done their duty and accomplished their mission.

It’s time to bring them home.

The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.

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