The Pentagon said the Taliban's refusal to honor commitments to reduce violence in Afghanistan raises questions about the withdrawal of the US military by May, as required by the peace agreement, AP reported.
Pentagon doubts advisability of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by May
STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 29, ARTSAKHPRESS: Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the US is committed to a complete withdrawal, but the agreement also calls on the Taliban to sever ties with al-Qaeda and reduce violence. Kirby said the Taliban have yet to comply with the requirements of the peace agreement. Without fulfilling their commitments to renounce terrorism and end violent attacks on Afghan national security forces, it is very difficult to see a solid path towards a negotiated settlement, he added.
White House and State Department officials have noted that President Joe Biden's administration is planning to take a fresh look at the peace deal signed last February.
The peace agreement called on the United States to cut its troop numbers to 2,500 and then withdraw all its troops by May. Former President Donald Trump ordered to cut US troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 just days before he left office, leaving Biden with difficult decisions about how to maintain leverage with the Taliban and in support of peace talks.
The continued high level of Taliban violence against Afghans is a key issue at the Pentagon. And some US officials have questioned the wisdom of a complete withdrawal if violence remains high.
According to the military, there are now 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan, who are mainly conducting counter-terrorism operations.