White House: Biden Wants More Time to Decide on Afghanistan Pullout

The Pentagon is confident it can execute the withdrawal by May 1st if ordered to do so

With the May 1st Afghanistan withdrawal deadline less than one month away, President Biden has yet to make an official decision on whether or not US troops will remain in the country. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that Biden needs more “time” to make the decision.

“We are continuing — he’s continuing to consult internally with his national security team and advisers and, of course, also with our partners and allies,” Psaki told reporters, adding that Biden “wants to take the time to make the right decision.”

All signs indicate Biden plans to stay since he has said the deadline would be “tough” to meet, which Psaki mentioned on Monday. “As the President has said before, it will be tough to meet the May 1st deadline for full withdrawal, for logistical reasons,” she said.

While Psaki cited “logistical reasons” as to why the deadline is difficult to meet, over at the Pentagon, spokesman John Kirby said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is confident that the withdrawal could be completed in time, if ordered.

“As the secretary himself said when we were Kabul just a couple of weeks ago that he is confident that whatever the decision is, if that decision involves a withdrawal, that General Miller and General McKenzie will be able to do so in a safe, orderly, and effective way,” Kirby told reporters on Monday.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.