exp GPS 0221 Haass, Beddoes, Beinart on Iran & Afghanistan_00013207.png
On GPS: Biden's foreign policy challenges
06:04 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

President Joe Biden said he is still making a decision on withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan ahead of a May 1 deadline set by former President Donald Trump, saying it “could happen, but it is tough.”

“I’m in the process of making that decision now as to when they’ll leave. The fact is, that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that the President, the former President, worked out. So we’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision’s – it’s in process now,” Biden said in an interview that aired Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Biden predicted that he didn’t think it would “take a lot longer,” but said a full withdrawal by May 1 “could happen, but it is tough.”

He went on to place blame on the transition process between the Trump administration and his own, saying that “a 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,” he added.

The Biden administration is running out of time, with less than 50 days before the May 1 deadline, the date upon which the US is supposed to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan under a peace agreement signed between the Trump administration and the Taliban. But any decision, from a complete withdrawal to an increase in troop levels, will require planning and coordination weeks ahead of that date.

Several defense officials previously told CNN that the US-led NATO alliance would like to see decisions taken no later than April 1 because of the challenges of removing US weaponry and equipment, amid concerns about some of it falling into the hands of the Taliban.

A Pentagon report said the full withdrawal could be devastating to “the survival of the Afghan state as we know it.”

The situation in Afghanistan is a thorny one for Biden, who opposed an increase in the US presence there during the Obama administration and has said he wants to wind down US involvement in the nearly 20-year conflict. Biden could face domestic criticism if he does not follow through on the withdrawal, but at the same time, Afghanistan remains unstable, the Taliban have increased their control of wider swaths of the country and the gains made by women and girls are at risk.

But as Biden weighs his options, the US military continues its operations in the country, having conducted airstrikes there this week targeting the Taliban.

US airstrikes over the last two days targeted “Taliban fighters actively attacking and maneuvering on (Afghan National Security Forces) positions” in Kandahar, US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said in a tweet on Wednesday.

The Taliban “strongly condemned” the US airstrikes on Kandahar, with spokesman Qari Mohammad Yusuf Ahmadi affirming that Taliban members were killed and injured, but not specifying how many.

Ahmadi called the bombings “a clear violation of the Doha Agreement, which cannot be justified in any way.”

The “Doha agreement,” signed by the US and the Taliban just over a year ago in Doha, Qatar, set out a series of commitments by both sides relating to troop levels, counterterrorism and the intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at bring about “a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”

CNN has reached out to the Afghan government for comment on the airstrikes.

CNN’s Oren Liebermann and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.