In symbolic end to war, US general departs Afghanistan

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KABUL: The US general starring the warfare successful Afghanistan, Austin Miller, relinquished bid connected Monday (Jul 12) astatine a ceremonial successful Kabul, successful what was a symbolic extremity to America's longest struggle adjacent arsenic Taliban insurgents summation momentum crossed the country.

Miller, America's past four-star commandant to service connected the crushed successful Afghanistan, stepped down up of a ceremonial extremity to the US military ngo determination connected Aug 31, a day acceptable by President Joe Biden arsenic helium looks to extricate the state from the two-decade-old war.

Addressing a tiny gathering extracurricular his subject office successful Kabul, Miller vowed to retrieve the lives mislaid successful the warring and called connected the Taliban to halt a question of convulsive attacks that person fixed them power of much territory than astatine immoderate clip since the struggle began.

"What I archer the Taliban is they're liable too. The unit that's going connected is against the volition of the Afghan people, and it needs to stop," Miller said.

While the ceremonial whitethorn connection immoderate consciousness of closure for US veterans who served successful Afghanistan, it's unclear whether it volition win successful reassuring the Western-backed Afghan authorities arsenic the Taliban property crushed offensives.

US Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, whose Florida-based Central Command oversees US forces successful hot-spots including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, flew into Kabul to underscore America's aboriginal assistance to Afghan information forces.

"You tin number connected our enactment successful the unsafe and hard days ahead. We volition beryllium with you," McKenzie said successful his address.

READ: Kabul urges Europe to halt forced deportations of Afghans

Speaking separately to a tiny radical of reporters, McKenzie cautioned that the Taliban, successful his view, were seeking "a subject solution" to a warfare that the United States has unsuccessfully tried to extremity with a bid statement betwixt the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government.

He said provincial capitals were astatine hazard but noted that the US-backed Afghan information forces "are determined to combat precise hard for those provincial capitals."

U.S. General Austin Miller, (L) and U.S. General Kenneth McKenzie,(R), astatine  a ceremony, arsenic  Miller rel US General Austin Miller, (L) and US General Kenneth McKenzie, (R), astatine a ceremonial successful Kabul, arsenic Miller relinquishes bid during the last signifier of America's withdrawal from the warfare successful Afghanistan connected Jul 12, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Phil Stewart)

McKenzie volition beryllium capable to authorise US air strikes against the Taliban done Aug 31 successful enactment of Ghani's Western-backed government.

But aft that, the Marine wide said erstwhile it came to US strikes successful Afghanistan, his absorption volition displacement squarely to counter-terrorism operations against al Qaeda and Islamic State.

INTELLIGENCE NETWORK

Gathering capable quality connected the crushed to forestall different Sep 11-style onslaught could go progressively challenging, arsenic America's quality web weakens with the US withdrawal and arsenic Afghan troops suffer territory.

US Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat and erstwhile elder Pentagon official, said galore lawmakers were inactive looking for answers from the Biden medication astir however the US will beryllium capable to observe a aboriginal al Qaeda crippled against the United States.

"I don't request them to archer the full satellite what our day-after program is. But I deliberation it's important that they fto america cognize immoderate of the details connected a backstage basis," Slotkin said.

READ: Air defences installed astatine Afghanistan's Kabul airdrome arsenic Taliban summation ground

US officials bash not judge the Taliban could beryllium relied upon to forestall al Qaeda from again plotting attacks against the United States from Afghan soil.

The United Nations said successful a study successful January determination were arsenic galore arsenic 500 al Qaeda fighters successful Afghanistan and that the Taliban maintained a adjacent narration with the extremist group.

LONGEST-SERVING GENERAL

As helium steps down, Miller, 60, has spent longer connected the crushed than immoderate of the erstwhile generals to bid the war.

He had a adjacent telephone successful 2018 erstwhile a rogue Afghan bodyguard successful Kandahar state opened occurrence and killed a almighty Afghan constabulary main lasting adjacent Miller. A US brigadier wide was wounded, arsenic were different Americans, but Miller emerged unscathed.

Afghanistan's President Ghani (R) meets U.S. General Miller, NATO ngo  commander, successful  Kabul Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (R) meets General Austin "Scott" Miller, commandant of US forces and NATO's Resolute Support Mission successful Kabul, Afghanistan, connected Jul 2, 2021. (Photo: Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS)

After Miller leaves the post, the Pentagon has engineered a modulation that volition let a bid of generals to transportation connected with supporting Afghan information forces, mostly from overseas.

Beyond McKenzie's overwatch from Florida, a Qatar-based brigadier general, Curtis Buzzard, volition absorption connected administering backing enactment for the Afghan information forces - including craft attraction support.

In Kabul, Navy Rear Admiral Peter Vasely volition pb a recently created US Forces Afghanistan-Forward, focusing connected protecting the US embassy and the airport.

Vasely, arsenic a two-star admiral, is higher ranked than accustomed for a US embassy-based post. But a US defence authoritative added that Afghanistan was a "very unsocial situation".

"There's nary comparable diplomatic information concern successful the satellite with what we're going to establish," the authoritative said, speaking connected information of anonymity.

Still, what happens adjacent successful Afghanistan appears to beryllium progressively retired of America's control.

Biden acknowledged connected Thursday that Afghanistan's aboriginal was acold from definite but said the Afghan radical indispensable determine their ain fate.

"I volition not nonstop different procreation of Americans to warfare successful Afghanistan with nary tenable anticipation of achieving a antithetic outcome," helium said.

About 2,400 US service members person been killed successful America's longest warfare - and galore thousands wounded.

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