Biden will ignore a peace treaty set up by the Trump administration and keep troops in Afghanistan for longer than agreed.

A peace agreement between the Trump administration and the Taliban set out plans to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by May 1. President Joe Biden has now set a new deadline for the US to leave the country.

However, the decision is drawing criticism from both sides.

Situation in Afghanistan

The US has been battling the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001. The conflict began after the attack on the twin towers on September 11. During the period that the United States occupied the country, there has been plenty of bloodshed and thousands died.

It is because of these tensions that some are concerned about the withdrawal.

What has been said?

Biden prepared the US public with statements in previous weeks.

Biden noted:

“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. And if we leave, we’re going to do so in a safe and orderly way.”

Despite these comments, the President, like his predecessor, was keen to leave the country. He previously stated that prolonging involvement was a “recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.”

Finally, the president announced plans to completely withdraw military personnel by September 11. A full twenty years since the US initially invaded.

Further information about a timeline for withdrawal and the stages of the plan are expected to be delivered today.

Reaction

Many in the US and Afghanistan feel that this proposed withdrawal should not go ahead. Some are stressing the dangers it presents to the people of Afghanistan, while others believe there is still an enemy to be defeated.

Tamim Asey, Executive Chairman of the Institute of War and Peace Studies in Kabul, warned the BBC of the dangers to the Afghanistan people:

“The best possible outcome to expect is that this withdrawal timeline serves as a catalyst and a mechanism to pressure Afghan parties to reach a political settlement by September or face a bloody Syrian-style civil war.”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky stated:

“Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is retreat in the face of an enemy that has not yet been vanquished and abdication of American leadership.”

Others were more supportive of the decision. Senator Jack Reed said:

“We still have vital interests in protecting against terrorist attacks that could be emanating from that part of the world, but there are other areas, too, we have to be conscious of.”

Moving forward

Many will hope that Afghanistan can move forward with a government based on democracy. With that said, the coming months could be turbulent.
Biden will address the situation in greater detail in the coming weeks.
Images via Alamy