According to a report from Vox, President Biden has been presented with three options for how to either end the war in Afghanistan or prolong it. The Biden administration is currently reviewing the US-Taliban peace deal that was signed last year, which set May 1st as a deadline for a US withdrawal.
The first option is for President Biden to adhere to the deadline and withdraw the remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by May 1st. The second option is to seek an extension of the deadline through negotiations with the Taliban. The third option is to scrap the deal and remain in Afghanistan indefinitely.
The report said the Biden administration will likely choose option two, citing unnamed US officials and experts that spoke with Vox. But it’s not clear if the Taliban has any interest in negotiating a deadline extension, as the group has been appealing to the US to withdraw.
The idea of an extension is to remain in the country while the Taliban and the US-backed Afghan government reach a deal to end fighting. But there’s no telling how long this could take or if an agreement could ever be reached.
Since the US-Taliban deal was signed, the Taliban has not attacked US or NATO forces, and no US troops died in combat in Afghanistan for an entire year, a first since the war started. But that will all change if the US stays in Afghanistan without the consent of the Taliban. It will mean an escalation of the almost 20-year war.
US officials also told Vox that the administration’s review of the US-Taliban deal is almost done, and an announcement is expected soon.