March 25, 2021 | , DOD News
President Joe Biden said the upcoming May 1 deadline to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan will be "hard to meet," during his first press conference today since taking office.
The president cited "tactical reasons" for the delay, but emphasized it was not his intention "to stay there a long time."
Biden said it is important for U.S. service members to leave in a safe and orderly manner, and added that he is in coordination with NATO allies who also have troops in the region.
The president has said before today that it would be difficult to meet the May 1 deadline to remove the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops. That deadline was set by former president Donald J. Trump in 2020, according to published news reports.
The U.S. military has been in Afghanistan for 16 years, making the war there the longest conflict in U.S. history, spanning three presidential administrations.