Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told allies at the NATO defense ministerial on Thursday that the administration of President Joe Biden would not “undertake a hasty or disorderly withdrawal from Afghanistan,” suggesting a reconsideration of the May 2021 withdrawal date set by predecessor Donald Trump.
American armed forces will mark 20 years in Afghanistan in October 2021 in the event that Biden does not withdraw.
The Trump administration negotiated a peace agreement with the Taliban last year in an attempt to end America’s presence in the country. The deal would see American forces leave Afghanistan in May 2021 if the Taliban committed to ceasing its attack on the U.S. military and cut its ties to international jihadists groups like al-Qaeda. The Taliban agreed to the deal and has largely appeared to keep the first promise, but international observers have found little indication that the jihadists have attempted to end their relationship