Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, mentioned he doesn’t consider the “endgame is but written” in Afghanistan as US troops close to the withdrawal deadline and referred to as on Afghan forces to exert their “will” to maintain militant Taliban fighters from taking up the nation.
Talking in regards to 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 risk of a negotiated final result that’s nonetheless on the market. There’s a risk of a whole Taliban takeover or risk of any variety of different eventualities, breakdowns, warlordism, every kind of different eventualities all through that we’re monitoring very carefully. I don’t suppose 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 vital fight multipliers really is will — and management. And that is going to be a check now of the need and management of the Afghan individuals, the Afghan safety forces, and the federal government of Afghanistan,” he mentioned.
Milley mentioned that the Taliban controls 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 try 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 to be able to consolidate the forces as a result of they’re taking an method to guard the inhabitants, and a lot of the inhabitants lives within the provincial capitals within the capital metropolis of Kabul, so they’re proper now as we converse, adjusting forces to consolidate within the provincial capitals,” he mentioned.
President Biden introduced in April that the US would depart 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 2021, however believed the Afghan forces will prevail.
“The probability there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning all the pieces and proudly owning the entire nation is extremely unlikely,” he instructed reporters on the White Home in the course of the announcement.
The US went to warfare in Afghanistan to do away with al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and to make sure that the Taliban by no means enable the fear group to make use of the nation as a secure 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’re going to enable al Qaeda to arrange store once more.
Austin mentioned the US is watching “very carefully.”
“Our main focus going ahead is to guarantee that violence, terrorism can’t be exported from from Afghanistan to our homeland. And so we’ll keep the aptitude to have the ability to not solely observe that, but in addition tackle that if it does emerge,” he mentioned.
“Taliban early on dedicated to not offering a secure haven for al Qaeda. We count on for them to fulfill that dedication. If they need legitimacy going ahead, I feel that’s one thing that they should take into account – and that’s one option to earn it. And so we’ll see what occurs,” Austin mentioned.