President Biden is considering keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan until November, rather than withdrawing them by a May 1 deadline outlined in an agreement his predecessor negotiated with the Taliban, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
In recent discussions with members of his national security team, Biden has pushed back on the Pentagon's efforts to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond May 1, one of the people said. But the president has been convinced to consider a possible six-month extension of American forces there, NBC News reports.
"Biden wants out," one of the people familiar with the discussions said. This person said Pentagon leaders have been making the case to Biden that the Taliban isn't living up to its end of the agreement and described the argument being made to him as, "Look, you own this now, Mr. President, and we can't guarantee you what will happen if we just precipitously pull everyone out."
The military has presented several options, including pulling out troops by or close to May 1; keeping troops in the country indefinitely; or keeping troops in Afghanistan for a defined period of time to be determined by the president, which could include a six-month extension, according to a second person familiar with the matter.