One Year or Five Years, US and Taliban Spar Over Afghan Pullout

Taliban struggling to get US to commit to a timeline

Negotiations on getting US troops out of Afghanistan have a number of key issues, but the most complicated is shaping up to be the timeline for the US withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan.

The Pentagon’s current proposal is a five year drawdown. This has been repeatedly broached by both sides, with various timelines from one year to five years considered. The Taliban is pushing hard to have this all done within a year.

Though the US seems to be okay in theory with withdrawing from Afghanistan, officials also want to make it a very deliberate timeline, so they can spin this as a resolution to the war, as opposed to the military defeat that it realistically is.

It’s also not clear why a slower withdrawal would be any better for this, as if anything it would keep the trickle of US troops back from Afghanistan going a lot longer, and delay the post-war era.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.