A Risky Withdrawal

The most important aspect is that it is not conditions-based. Previous U.S. presidents have generally said they would make redeployment decisions in Afghanistan and Iraq based on the threat posed by local enemies and the capabilities of local allies. Even the Donald Trump administration, which set a May 1 deadline for withdrawal in last year’s negotiations with the Taliban, insisted that the Taliban denounce al-Qaeda (which it has never done) and refrain from attacks on U.S. troops (which it has generally done).


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