Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visits Afghanistan as troop withdrawal deadline looms

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Sunday as the Biden administration continues to grapple with a timeline for bringing troops home from America’s longest war.

Austin visited the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul before meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other top officials at the presidential palace. The defense chief spent roughly seven hours in the capital, and is the first member of President Biden’s Cabinet to visit the country.

His visit comes as the administration faces a deadline of May 1…

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