CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: A major decision concerning U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, that's our first topic today on CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz.
Thank you for watching. On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that American combat troops would leave Afghanistan by September 11th of this year. That will be the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S. which were carried out by a group that was allowed to live and train in Afghanistan. That's why in 2001. the U.S. led an international alliance of countries to knock Afghanistan's former rulers out of power. Afghanistan's first democratically elected leader took office in 2004 but instability remained and the conflict in Afghanistan became the longest running war America has been involved in.
President Biden says it's time to end it and bring U.S. troops home and as of this January, there were 2.500 American service members in Afghanistan according to the Defense Department. And while the Biden Administration says they'll be withdrawn by September, some U.S. troops will remain in the country to protect American interests. Officials didn't say how many. The decision to remove the others is both complicated and controversial. For one thing, the Taliban, Afghanistan's former rulers who harbored terrorists. They're still a powerful force in the country. The U.S. Intelligence community doesn't think a peace deal is likely between the Taliban and the Afghan government and if American troops leave some military officials are concerned that the government will collapse.
That could threaten security, democracy and women's rights in Afghanistan. Like former President Barack Obama and former President Donald Trump, President Biden promised to end American involvement in Afghanistan. In Congress, there's bipartisan support for doing this with advocates saying it would be a historic achievement. There's also bipartisan opposition with critics saying it will result in an Afghan civil war. A member of the Biden Administration who's been involved in the decision says it's not based on conditions in Afghanistan. President Biden reportedly thinks conditions there could keep American troops in the country indefinitely. Analysts say he wants to focus more on foreign policy concerning China and Russia.