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US Keeps Distance While Afghan Army Faces Taliban Rout | News

Washington-Afghan government forces are collapsing even faster than US military leaders thought possible just months before President Joe Biden ordered a complete withdrawal. But among the White House, the Pentagon, or the American people, there is little willingness to stop the rout, and it’s probably too late to stop it.

Biden has revealed that he does not intend to overturn the decision he made last spring, even if the results appear to be directed towards the Taliban’s takeover. U.S. military leaders are not putting pressure on him to change his mind, as most U.S. forces are now gone and the Taliban are accelerating profits on the battlefield. They know that resuming the war that the president has already decided to end is the only important option.

The Taliban, which ruled the country from 1996 until the invasion of the U.S. military after the 9/11 attack, occupied three more state capitals on Wednesday, effectively controlling about two-thirds of the country. Armed groups do not have an air force and are more numerous than the US-trained Afghan Defense Forces, but occupy territory at an alarming rate.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Afghans still have time to protect themselves from the final defeat.

“Potential consequences, including the fall of Kabul, need not be inevitable,” Kirby told reporters. “You don’t have to do that. It really depends on what political and military leadership Afghanistan can gather to turn this around.”

Biden made a similar point the day before, telling reporters that the US military had done everything it could to support Afghanistan over the last two decades.

“They have to fight for themselves, they have to fight for their country,” he said.

The United States continues to support Afghan troops with limited airstrikes, but so far there has been no strategic difference and will end when the United States officially ends its role in the war on August 31. is. Biden can continue airstrikes beyond that day, but given his firm stance to end the war, it seems unlikely.

Carter Malkasian, who advised US military leaders in Afghanistan and Washington, said:

U.S. military officials warned Biden that a complete withdrawal of the United States could lead to a takeover of the Taliban, but the president decided in April that it was useless to continue the war. He said his decision was valid even in the talk on Tuesday that the Taliban were within easy reach of Kabul and could threaten the security of US and other foreign diplomats.

Kabul could be under rebel pressure by September, according to the latest U.S. military assessments in light of the Taliban’s latest interests, according to defense officials who discussed internal analysis. It could be completely under the control of the Taliban within a month. Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

Officials said there were no decisions or orders regarding the evacuation of US diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan. However, one official said it was time to seriously discuss whether the US military should start moving assets to the area in case the State Department demands a sudden evacuation.

Mr Kirby refused to discuss evacuation plans, but one parliamentary official said he had discussed potential evacuation plans for the US embassy at a recent National Security Council, but did not reach a conclusion.

Such plans include identifying US military, aircraft, and other assets that may have to operate from within or in Afghanistan. The United States already has warships in the area, including the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, which carries the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Military officials watching the worsening situation said the Taliban have not taken steps to threaten Kabul so far. However, it is not clear whether the Taliban will wait until it gains control of most of the country before attempting to occupy the capital.

Military commanders have long warned that it would be a serious challenge for Afghan troops to stop the Taliban until the end of the year. In early May, shortly after Biden announced the decision to withdraw, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he had foreseen “some really dramatic and possible bad consequences” in the worst-case scenario. He hoped the government would unite and thwart the Taliban and said results could be revealed by the end of summer.

The security of US diplomats has been discussed for months, even before the Taliban battlefield blitz. The military has long had various planning options for evacuating personnel from Afghanistan. These options are primarily determined by the White House and the Department of State.

An important element of the option is the free access of the US military to Kabul International Airport, allowing personnel to systematically leave the capital. In dark environments, if the Taliban invade the city, US troops may have to fight to get in and out.

The United States also needs to decide who will evacuate. Only US embassy staff and the US military, or other embassies, US citizens, and Afghan people who have worked with the US are former interpreters and Taliban. The United States has already begun to withdraw hundreds of Afghans who supported the army during the war.

Senior defense leaders present a rigorous assessment of Afghanistan’s security situation, discuss and meet daily. Officials pointed out that the collapse of Baghlan was a bell of concern as it provided the Taliban with a base and route from the north to Kabul.

AP writer Ellen Knickmeyer and AP diplomatic writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

US Keeps Distance While Afghan Army Faces Taliban Rout | News

Source link US Keeps Distance While Afghan Army Faces Taliban Rout | News

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