NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday that the alliance will follow the US and begin its withdrawal from Afghanistan on May 1st.
“Our drawdown will be orderly, coordinated, and deliberate,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels. “We went into Afghanistan together, we have adjusted our posture together, and we are united in leaving together.” There are currently about 7,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan.
President Biden announced his withdrawal plan on Wednesday. He pushed back the May 1st deadline set by the US-Taliban peace deal and said all US troops will be out of Afghanistan by September 11th. In an attempt to claim he is following the US-Taliban deal, Biden said he is beginning the withdrawal on May 1st, but that doesn’t seem to be acceptable to the Taliban.
The Taliban released a statement on Thursday that called Biden’s move a “clear violation” of the US-Taliban agreement and hinted that attacks against US and NATO forces could start up again.
In comments to The Daily Beast on Wednesday, local Taliban commanders made more forceful threats and said they are “very much prepared to strike” against the US, warning that the Taliban will turn Afghanistan “into a nightmare” for them.
While Biden says he is ready to withdraw from Afghanistan, the White House declined to answer when asked if special operations forces will stay in the country past September 11th.