U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, the U.S.'s apical wide successful Afghanistan, speaks to journalists astatine the Resolute Support office past period successful Kabul, Afghanistan. Ahmad Seir/AP hide caption
U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, the U.S.'s apical wide successful Afghanistan, speaks to journalists astatine the Resolute Support office past period successful Kabul, Afghanistan.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The apical U.S. commandant successful Afghanistan relinquished his presumption astatine a ceremonial successful the superior Kabul connected Monday, taking the United States a measurement person to ending its 20-year war. The determination came arsenic Taliban insurgents proceed to summation territory crossed the country.
Another four-star wide volition presume authorization from his U.S.-based station to behaviour imaginable airstrikes successful defence of Afghan authorities forces, astatine slightest until the U.S. withdrawal concludes by Aug. 31.
Gen. Scott Miller has served arsenic America's apical commandant successful Afghanistan since 2018. He handed implicit bid of what has go known arsenic America's "forever war" successful its waning days to Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the caput of U.S. Central Command. McKenzie volition run from Central Command office successful Tampa, Florida.
The handover took spot successful the heavy fortified Resolute Support office successful the bosom of Kabul astatine a clip of accelerated territorial gains by Taliban insurgents crossed Afghanistan.
In a flag-passing ceremony, Miller remembered the U.S. and NATO troops killed successful the astir 20-year warfare arsenic good arsenic the thousands of Afghans who mislaid their lives.
He warned that relentless unit crossed Afghanistan is making a governmental colony progressively difficult. The outgoing commandant said helium has told Taliban officials "it's important that the subject sides acceptable the conditions for a peaceful and governmental colony successful Afghanistan. ... But we cognize that with that violence, it would beryllium precise hard to execute a governmental settlement."
The Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces, mostly funded by the United States and NATO, person enactment up absorption successful immoderate parts of the country, but overwhelmingly Afghan authorities troops look to person abandoned the fight.
In caller weeks, the Taliban person gained respective strategical districts, peculiarly on the borders with Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Afghanistan's National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who attended the handover, said the U.S. and NATO withdrawal has near a vacuum that resulted successful Afghanistan's nationalist information forces stranded connected the battlefield without resupplies, sometimes moving retired of nutrient and ammunition.
In comments aft the ceremony, Mohib said the top interaction of the withdrawal is simply a deficiency of craft to resupply troops. Currently, the authorities is regrouping to retake strategical areas and support its cities against Taliban advances.
The Taliban power much than one-third of Afghanistan's 421 districts and territory centers. A Taliban assertion that they power 85% of the districts is wide seen arsenic exaggerated.
After Miller's departure, a two-star admiral based astatine the U.S. Embassy successful Kabul volition oversee the U.S. military's relation successful securing the American diplomatic beingness successful Kabul, including defending the Kabul airport.
Miller's departure does not trim the scope of the U.S. subject ngo successful Afghanistan, since McKenzie volition presume the authorities present held by Miller to behaviour airstrikes successful defence of Afghan authorities forces nether definite circumstances. The conditions nether which specified strikes mightiness beryllium utilized are not clear, nor is it known for however agelong McKenzie volition support the onslaught authority.
A woody the U.S. struck with the Taliban successful February 2020 included a committedness from the insurgent question not to onslaught U.S. and NATO troops, a committedness it appears they person mostly kept.
While Washington is not saying however galore troops stay successful Afghanistan, a CENTCOM connection much than a week agone said the withdrawal was 90 percent complete.
President Joe Biden has reiterated that the U.S. volition stay engaged successful Afghanistan with humanitarian assistance. The U.S. besides is committed to spending $4.4 cardinal annually to money Afghanistan's information forces until 2024.