President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he’s ready to quit Afghanistan, according to The Washington Examiner.
According to the Examiner, the president’s first news conference indicated that the executive branch is concerned they won’t meet the previously negotiated deadline to make a complete withdrawal from the Middle East country.
“It’s going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline. Just in terms of tactical reasons, it’s hard to get those troops out,” Biden said, seeming to be warming reporters up to the idea that the withdrawal could take months, if not into next year.
“I can’t picture that being the case,” Biden said. “But it is not my intention to stay there for a long time, but the question is, how and on what circumstances.”
According to the Examiner, the current administration has been backlogged with the logistics of pulling 2,500-plus U.S. troops, 5,000 NATO and partner troops, as well as 13,000 American contractors from Afghanistan.
“We’ve been meeting with our allies, those other nations that have NATO allies who have troops in Afghanistan as well, and if we leave, we’re going to do so in a safe and orderly way,” he said.
Biden’s decision to pull the troops at all could be considered ill-advised, at best. When word spread that NATO and the United States would be withdrawing, the Taliban issued a statement saying that it would again begin to terrorize U.S. forces as soon as possible.
“If someone ignores the Doha agreement and seeks excuses to continue the war and extend the occupation, then the mujahid nation of Afghanistan can courageously defend the values, the soil, the country, and their rights same as they have before, as proven in history,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.
head of U.S. Special Operations Command Army Gen. Richard Clarke told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Afghan military is still in critical need of U.S. help to fend off the Taliban.
“It’s clear that the Taliban have not upheld what they said they would do and reduce the violence,” Clarke testified referencing an agreement made with the Trump administration. “While progress has been made … the capabilities that the U.S. provides for the Afghans to be able to combat the Taliban and other threats that reside in Afghanistan are critical to their success.”