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Joint Chiefs chairman says no Afghanistan ‘endgame’ as US troops withdraw

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, mentioned he doesn’t imagine the “endgame is but written” in Afghanistan as US troops close to the withdrawal deadline and known as on Afghan forces to exert their “will” to maintain militant Taliban fighters from taking on the nation. 

Talking concerning the tempo of the US army drawdown with Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin at a information convention on Wednesday, Milley mentioned the remaining weeks earlier than the Aug. 31 deadline for the US army pullout will inform the destiny of the war-torn nation. 

“We’re going to seek out out the degrees of violence, whether or not it’s going to go up, keep the identical. There’s a chance of a negotiated final result that’s nonetheless on the market. There’s a chance of a whole Taliban takeover or chance of any variety of different eventualities, breakdowns, warlordism, every kind of different eventualities all through that we’re monitoring very intently. I don’t assume the endgame is but written,” he mentioned. 

Milley acknowledged that the Taliban had gained territory in the course of the withdrawal course of however mentioned Afgan safety forces are properly geared up and have obtained substantial coaching from the US and its allies in the course of the 20-year warfare.

However he mentioned “warfare isn’t just about numbers.”

“The 2 most necessary fight multipliers truly is will — and management. And that is going to be a check now of the need and management of the Afghan folks, the Afghan safety forces, and the federal government of Afghanistan,” he mentioned.

Milley mentioned the Taliban management about half of the 419 district facilities in Afghanistan, and they’re preventing for the 34 provincial capitals however haven’t seized any. 

The Taliban are attempting to isolate the main inhabitants facilities like Kabul and proceed to eat up territory, however the Afghan forces are adjusting to their advance.

“Strategic momentum seems to be type of with the Taliban. The Afghan safety forces are consolidating their forces. So a part of that is they’re giving up district facilities with a view to consolidate the forces as a result of they’re taking an strategy to guard the inhabitants, and many of the inhabitants lives within the provincial capitals within the capital metropolis of Kabul, so they’re proper now as we communicate, adjusting forces to consolidate within the provincial capitals,” he mentioned.

President Biden introduced in April that the US would go away Afghanistan on Sept. 11, the twentieth anniversary of the fear assaults, however accelerated that timetable final month. 

He conceded that the Taliban are at their strongest militarily because the US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, however believed the Afghan forces will prevail. 

“The probability there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning the whole lot and proudly owning the entire nation is extremely unlikely,” he advised reporters on the White Home in the course of the announcement.

The US went to warfare in Afghanistan to eliminate al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and to make sure that the Taliban by no means permit the fear group to make use of the nation as a protected haven to plot assaults on the US and its allies.

Critics of the pullout predict that Afghanistan will fall to the Taliban after the US leaves and they’ll permit al Qaeda to arrange store once more.

Austin mentioned the US is watching “very intently.”

“Our main focus going ahead is to ensure that violence, terrorism can’t be exported from from Afghanistan to our homeland. And so we’ll preserve the potential to have the ability to not solely observe that, but in addition deal with that if it does emerge,” he mentioned.

“Taliban early on dedicated to not offering a protected haven for al Qaeda. We count on for them to satisfy that dedication. If they need legitimacy going ahead, I feel that’s one thing that they must contemplate — and that’s one approach to earn it. And so we’ll see what occurs,” Austin mentioned. 

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