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afghan peace talks

Bipartisan report says U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan would lead to 'new civil war'

A recently-released bipartisan report produced by the Afghanistan Study Group is urging the Biden administration to extend the deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, per NBC News.

The report backed efforts by the Trump administration to strike a peace deal with the Taliban, but suggested the May 31 deadline for a full exit was too soon and "would likely lead to a new civil war in Afghanistan" and the re-establishment of "anti-U.S. terrorist groups that could threaten our homeland." Even the Taliban, the report predicted, would feel the "catastrophic effects" of a premature withdrawal.

The authors acknowledged the United States is "clearly ... prepared" to leave, but insisted Washington must make it clear to the Taliban "that they have not fulfilled" their end of the bargain. "The Study Group believes that further U.S. troop withdrawals should be conditioned on the Taliban's demonstrated willingness to contain terrorist groups, on a reduction in the Taliban's violence against the Afghan people, and on real progress toward a compromise political settlement," the report reads.

The Biden administration hasn't made any official announcements about its plans for Afghanistan, but is reportedly weighing options, including extending the deadline. Read more at NBC News.