President Biden said the May 1 deadline for pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan as part of a deal with the Taliban is “tough” and that a lack of cooperation during the post-election transition period is hamstringing his foreign policy.
“Could happen, but it is tough,” Mr. Biden said in an interview that aired Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “The fact is that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that the former president worked out, and so we’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government and that decision’s in process now.”
The deal calls for troops to exit the country by May 1 in exchange for promises from the Taliban, which include a stipulation that Afghanistan never again becomes a home base for terrorists and a peace agreement between the Taliban and the government in Kabul.
Capitol Hill lawmakers have signaled they anticipate a more extended U.S. presence.
Mr. Biden said the failure to have an “orderly transition” has cost him “time and consequences.”
“For example, we didn’t realize how bad things were in terms of lack of vaccines — we were not able to get access to this information,” he said. “That’s one of the issues we’re talking about now in terms of Afghanistan.”
Mr. Biden’s team said many people in the Trump administration were helpful during the post-election transition period, but singled out the Defense Department and the Office of Management and Budget as areas where they ran into particular difficulty.