Delay troop exit from Afghanistan, Biden admin urged

The Biden administration has been asked to keep US troops in Afghanistan beyond the May 1 deadline and avoid abandoning intra-Afghan peace negotiations.

The need for a delay in withdrawing American forces from the country was underlined in a congressionally-mandated report that was released on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

A pullout at the end of April, as stipulated by the US-Taliban peace pact of February 20, 2020, would effectively hand the insurgent group a victory, the study warned.

Conducted by the Afghanistan Study Group, the report said: “Withdrawing US troops irresponsibly could lead to a new civil war in Afghanistan.

Such a move might pave the ground for the reconstitution of anti-US terrorist groups that could threaten America’s security in addition to providing them with a narrative of victory against the world’s most powerful country.

Former US general Joseph Dunford, who co-chairs the group, suggested the aim should be not just to end the war but to ensure an acceptable peace agreement between the Taliban and the government in Kabul.

The report recommended force cuts contingent on progress in the intra-Afghan peace dialogue, a cut in Taliban in violence and keeping al Qaeda in check.

Dunford was quoted as saying the bipartisan report was shared with aides to President Joe Biden, including Zalmay Khalilzad,, who hailed it as helpful.”