Defense Secretary Tours Afghanistan Amid Exit Pressures

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin didn't confirm an exit date for U.S. troops, but did say an announcement would come from President Biden.

Video Transcript

ANTOINETTE MILLER: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Afghanistan officials Sunday on his first trip to the country as Pentagon chief. This comes amid swirling questions about how long American troops will remain in the country after 18 years. Washington is reviewing the Trump administration's deal signed with the Taliban last year to withdraw troops by May 1.

The Taliban issued a statement Friday warning that if the US doesn't meet the deadline, there would be a reaction. During Sunday's visit with Afghan officials, including President Ashraf Ghani, Austin made note that the US is focused on making its exit from Afghanistan as easy as possible.

LLOYD AUSTIN: There are always going to be concerns about things, one way or the other, but I think there's a lot of energy focused on doing what's necessary to bring about a responsible and a negotiated settlement to the war.

ANTOINETTE MILLER: Austin didn't confirm an exit date for US troops, but did say that announcement would come from President Biden. For Newsy, I'm Antoinette Miller.