US may miss deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden says

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo shows US army soldiers return from Afghanistan on Dec. 10, 2020, at Fort Drum, New York.

US President Joe Biden says it is “tough” to withdraw all the US forces in Afghanistan by May 1, a deadline agreed upon by the Trump administration and the Taliban.

"I'm in the process of making that decision now as to when they'll leave," Biden said in an interview with ABC News.

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of the so-called war against terror.

Washington has spent more than trillions of dollars waging war on the impoverished country, which has left thousands of Afghan civilians and American soldiers dead.

Last year, former US President Donald Trump signed a deal with the Taliban militant group, which controls large parts of Afghanistan, to withdraw the remaining US troops by the beginning of May this year in exchange for the Taliban to halt attacks on foreign forces.

"The fact is that, that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that the president -- the former president -- worked out. And so we're in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision's going to be -- it's in process now," he added.

Now, the future of the NATO deployment will be largely determined by Joe Biden, who will either stick to the May withdrawal deadline or risk a backlash by staying in Afghanistan.

The US along with its NATO allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the guise of fighting terrorism and dismantling the al-Qaeda terrorist group.

The invasion — which has turned into the longest war in US history — removed the Taliban from power, but the militant group has never stopped its attacks, citing the foreign military presence as one of the main reasons behind its continued militancy.

The White House says it is reviewing the US-Taliban deal, while the Pentagon has accused the group of not fulfilling its promises.

Trump reduced the number of US troops to 2,500 in January, their lowest figure since the onset of the so-called war on terror but a full withdrawal of US troops is yet to materialize.


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