|U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about infrastructure investment from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus on Wednesday, in Washington, D.C. AFP-Yonhap|
Without coming right out and saying it, U.S. President Joe Biden seems ready to let lapse a May 1 deadline for completing a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Orderly withdrawals take time, and Biden is running out of it.
Biden has inched so close to the deadline that his indecision amounts almost to a decision to put off, at least for a number of months, a pullout of the remaining 2,500 troops and continue supporting the Afghan military at the risk of a Taliban backlash. Removing all of the troops and their equipment in the next three weeks ― along with coalition partners that cannot get out on their own ― would be difficult logistically, as Biden himself suggested in late March.
"It's going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline," he said. "Just in terms of tactical reasons, it's hard to get those troops out." Tellingly, he added, "And if we leave, we're going to do so in a safe and orderly way." (AP)