Afghanistan on brink of total carnage as Taliban threatens all-out war if Biden doesn’t withdraw troops by May 1

AFGANISTAN is on the brink of all-out war after the Taliban threatened carnage if President Joe Biden does not pull troops by May 1. 

It comes as the President admitted it would be "tough" to meet the deadline to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan by May 1, which was agreed with the Taliban in a deal struck by Donald Trump.

The Taliban insurgents have largely stuck to a promise not to attack US or other foreign troops since the agreement was struck in February last year.

The insurgency group said the May 1 date to end America's longest war was inflexible and threatened all-out war.

Currently, there are about 3,500 US troops and 10,000 Nato troops in Afghanistan.

But when asked about withdrawing the troops by the deadline in an ABC interview, Biden said: "Could happen, but it is tough.

"I'm in the process of making that decision now."

The Taliban quickly reacted to Biden's comments, with a spokesman saying there would be "consequences" if the United States did not stick to the agreed timetable.

This further raising fears of the rebels launching an all-out spring offensive on US forces. 

Biden also took a direct swipe at Trump's Afghanistan policy, saying it "was not a very solidly negotiated deal" that the then-president oversaw.

He added: "The failure to have an orderly transition from the Trump presidency to my presidency… has cost me time and consequences. 

“That's one of the issues we're talking about now, in terms of Afghanistan.”.

The United States is supposed to pull out all its troops by May 1 in an agreement that saw the Taliban agree to peace talks with the Afghan administration of President Ashraf Ghani.

The insurgents also vowed not to allow its territory to be used by "terrorists" — the original goal of the US invasion following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

But the supposed peace talks held in Qatar since September have made little progress.

Washington wants to jump-start the process and get the Taliban and the Afghan government to agree to some form of power-sharing.

Major urban centers in Afghanistan are in the grip of a worsening terror campaign in the form of deadly attacks targeting politicians, civil servants, academics, rights activists and journalists.

The Taliban deny all responsibility but the government says they are to blame — either directly, or by using proxies.

AMERICA’s operations in Afghanistan – launched after the 9/11 attacks – have come at great cost.

19: Years since war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban started in October 2001.

2,305: Number of US personnel who have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

20,320: number of US personnel wounded in action.

110,000: Total number of US troops in Afghanistan at the height of deployment in 2011.

$778bn: Total US military expenditure in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2019. Another $44bn has gone on reconstruction projects.

Analysts suggest a face-saving compromise on the US withdrawal could be hashed out, with Washington saying it has met its obligations while leaving some US experts attached to Afghan forces in advisory roles.

A complete exit of US troops — given the vital air cover provided to Afghan ground forces — would further loosen Kabul's tenuous grip on the countryside.

Trump, who dubbed the conflict America's "endless war," cut troop numbers during his final days in office to 2,500 — their lowest figure since the start of operations 20 years ago.

Afghanistan has been engulfed by a two-decade insurgency by the Taliban since the Islamist militants were ousted by a US-led invasion in 2001 for harboring the Al-Qaeda terror network.

Joe Biden and his defence secretary Lloyd Austin are weighing up whether to keep Donald Trump's deadline to withdraw troopsCredit: AP:Associated Press

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