State Dept: US Remains Unclear on Afghan Troop Levels After May 1

Ending war as agreed to is only one of the options being considered

The US State Department says all options remain on the table with respect to Afghanistan, and what the US military posture in that nation will be after May 1. Under the existing peace deal, the US is supposed to withdraw by May 1.

Since taking office the Biden Administration has been offering myriad excuses for why they might scrap the peace deal, though officials now say that at the very least the pullout remains one of the options under consideration.

It’s not clear what that means, however, with “all options” open, because while the US is offering some new proposals to try to get the intra-Afghan peace talks going, they seem also to be aware that the Ghani government is going to oppose their proposals.

This talk of being unclear what direction they are going in just two short months may suggest that the US is trying to position the environment to justify what they intend to do, i.e. putting the peace process in more disarray so it isn’t just the US unilaterally scrapping the deal already reached.

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.