Biden facing ‘serious dilemmas’ on Afghan troop withdrawal

KABUL (AFP) – United States (US) President Joe Biden faces “serious dilemmas” in Afghanistan as a deadline to withdraw troops nears and the Taleban show no sign of ending their bloodshed, a top US official warned.

The new US leader has ordered a review of the deal Washington cut with the Taleban last year, which promised the withdrawal of all foreign forces by May 1 in return for security guarantees from the militants and a commitment to peace talks with the Afghan government.

The talks are progressing painfully slowly, but scarcely a day goes by without a bomb blast, attack on government forces, or a targetted assassination somewhere in the country.

“Violence level remains very, very high… which is shocking and deeply disappointing,” a senior US State Department official told AFP.

“It is damaging the atmosphere for any kind of a settlement of Afghanistan’s conflict.”

The Taleban routinely deny responsibility for the attacks – and many are claimed by the rival extremist group Islamic State.