The US has withdrawn more than 50 percent of its forces from Afghanistan, the Pentagon estimated Tuesday.
The announcement came from US Central Command, which estimated that it had “completed greater than 50 percent of the entire retrograde process.”
Specifically, the Pentagon said it had “retrograded the equivalent of approximately 500 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan and have turned nearly 13,000 pieces of equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposition.”
It also cautioned that the department would not offer specific percentage updates after passing the halfway mark “[f]or operational security reasons ad to preserve force protection.”
The Afghanistan troop withdrawal remains in motion, a process on which President Biden placed a Sept. 11 deadline.
Biden announced that deadline in April, offering US troops an additional four months from former President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw all troops from the nation by May 1.
Biden had hinted prior to the announcement that Trump’s withdrawal date would be hard to meet due to “tactical reasons” and would be impossible to accomplish in a safe and orderly fashion.
In a speech explaining his decision, Biden argued that the US had achieved its goal of bringing Osama bin Laden to justice and destroying al Qaeda, his terror network, a contention that many progressives and a growing number of Republicans support.
“I’ve concluded it’s time to end America’s longest war. It’s time for American troops to come home,” Biden said at the time.
“I’m now the fourth United States president to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan: two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.”
Critics of the move have cautioned that it could lead to the creation of a new ISIS, as President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq did in 2011.
For his part, Trump slammed Biden’s decision to move the date from May to Sept. 11, arguing it “should remain a day of reflection and remembrance.”
“September 11th represents a very sad event and period for our Country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost,” he said.
Instead, Trump urged Biden to “keep as close” as possible to his own goal of getting the troops out on May 1.
With Post wires