Biden has only bad options as Afghanistan withdrawal deadline nears

 Biden has only bad options as Afghanistan withdrawal deadline nears

There are just 10 weeks left of America’s war in Afghanistan – at least on paper.

Why it matters: Donald Trump pledged a full troop withdrawal by May 1 as part of a deal struck one year ago with the Taliban. President Biden must now decide whether he can bear the risks of honoring it.

The big picture: Under the deal, the Taliban promised to reduce violence, engage in peace talks with the Afghan government (which was not a party to the Trump-Taliban deal), and ensure that Afghanistan doesn’t again become a haven for terror groups like al-Qaeda.

  • The Taliban has stopped targeting U.S. and NATO troops but continues to attack Afghan forces. Intra-Afghan peace talks have stalled, and the Taliban has refused to cut ties with al-Qaeda.
  • Meanwhile, Trump pulled the U.S. troop count down to 2,500 from around 13,000 before leaving office. NATO allies have another 8,000 troops in the country.
  • Flashback: The troop count rose as high as 100,000 under Barack Obama. The most prominent internal opponent of Obama’s surge was Biden, who has long argued for a smaller operation focused

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Redak staff

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