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Biden to reportedly withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021



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President Joe Biden is expected to announce a plan to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, The Washington Post reports. He is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday.

The Pentagon confirmed to this reporter that they are aware of the reports, but wouldn’t comment on the stories and deferred any questions to the White House. The White House didn’t immediately respond.

Currently, the Pentagon says there are 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. There’s been a presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for 19 years.

Daniel Hoffman is a retired clandestine services officer and former chief of station with the Central Intelligence Agency. In a phone interview with this reporter on Tuesday, Hoffman questioned whether Biden has a plan to combat the existing and growing national security threats from terrorist groups in the region like ISIS and Al Qaeda.

In a recent op-ed for The Washington Times, Hoffman wrote that Biden should be careful not to let the region become a safe haven for terrorists. “Cognizant that the Obama administration’s precipitous withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 helped create the conditions for ISIS to flourish, Mr. Biden should keep firmly in mind the distinction between an ‘endless war’ and a forward-deployed U.S. presence — strictly limited in personnel and scope and buttressed by allied contributions — that defends our clear national interests and doesn’t outsource them to unreliable partners or hostile actors.”

Moreover, Hoffman said Biden’s reasoning for making the deadline September 11 seemed “political.” “That date has a very serious meaning for us,” he said, referring to the 2001 Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Biden has previously indicated his future plans to draw down the number of troops in the region and recently said he “can’t picture” having U.S. troops there next year.

A May 1 deadline remains in place for Biden to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan under a deal brokered between the Trump administration and the Taliban. Biden, however, has been opposed to the Trump-Taliban deal while still supporting a pull-out of U.S. troops. However, he has yet to provide a definitive timeline.

Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kabul where he met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. On a later February 5 call, Austin and Ghani spoke of the need for a deal to end the war and agreed on working towards peace.

Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Huge protests erupt in China in defiance of the Chinese Communist Party’s Covid-19 lockdowns



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Much of the world is getting on with life and attempting to recover any of the horrendous damage caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has just imposed even more Covid-19 lockdowns sparking unrest.

Chinese citizens are banning together to protest yet another round of strict covid protocols and lockdowns suffocating their freedom.

In Shanghai, citizens chanted against President Xi Jinping’s rule, according to CNN. Chants “Xi Jinping, step down” and “Communist party, step down” were chanted. Some protesters held up blank sheets of paper to symbolize resistance against the Chinese government.

One social media user explained the black sheets of paper: “We don’t need to write anything on it. It is a symbol of the revolution of the people.”

An apartment fire in Urumqi, the capital of the far western region of Xinjiang, killed ten people and injured nine last week. The incident triggered “the most recent wave of unrest” because “it was believed that the mobility restrictions in the area either trapped the residents or slowed the dispatch of emergency services” reports National Review.

Various universities including in Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing, saw huge crowds of students who honored the victims and denounced China’s zero-Covid-19 policy and strict control measures.



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