Blinken Arrives In Afghanistan After Biden Announces Troop Withdrawal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kabul on Thursday in an unannounced visit that comes just a day after President Biden announced that he has decided to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, ending America's longest conflict.

Blinken told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that his visit was intended to "demonstrate with my visit the ongoing commitment of the United States to the Islamic Republic and the people of Afghanistan."

"The partnership is changing, but the partnership is enduring," Blinken said.

Ghani replied: "We respect the decision and are adjusting our priorities."

On Wednesday, Biden announced that the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops would be coming home by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that sparked a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

The president said a continued military presence in Afghanistan was no longer sustainable. The war there has claimed the lives of more than 2,300 U.S. troops, and more than 100,000 Afghans civilians have been either killed or wounded in the conflict in the past decade.

Blinken arrived in the Afghan capital as NATO announced that it would follow the U.S. lead and withdraw its roughly 7,000 troops from Afghanistan within a few months.

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