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Thursday, August 5, 2021

High US commander in Afghanistan arms over command

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The highest US commander in Afghanistan relinquished his command at a ceremony within the Afghan capital of Kabul on Monday, taking the US a step nearer to ending its 20-year conflict.

The transfer got here as Taliban insurgents proceed to realize territory throughout the nation.

One other four-star common will assume authority from his US publish to conduct doable airstrikes in protection of Afghan authorities forces, at the least till the US withdrawal concludes by August 31.

Gen. Scott Miller, who has served as America’s high commander in Afghanistan since 2018, handed over command of what has turn into referred to as America’s eternally conflict’ in its waning days to Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top of US Central Command. McKenzie will function from Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

The handover happened within the closely fortified Resolute Assist headquarters within the coronary heart of Kabul, at a time of speedy territorial positive aspects by Taliban insurgents throughout Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Nationwide Protection and Safety Forces, largely funded by the US and NATO, have put up resistance in some components of the nation, however overwhelmingly Afghan authorities troops seem to have deserted the struggle.

In latest weeks, the Taliban have gained a number of strategic districts, notably alongside the borders with Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

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The Taliban management greater than one-third of Afghanistan’s 421 districts and district facilities. A Taliban declare that they management 85 per cent of the districts is broadly seen as exaggerated.

After Miller’s departure, a two-star admiral primarily based on the US Embassy in Kabul will oversee the US navy’s position in securing the American diplomatic presence in Kabul, together with defending the Kabul airport.

Miller’s departure doesn’t scale back the scope of the US navy mission in Afghanistan, since McKenzie will assume the authorities now held by Miller to conduct airstrikes in protection of Afghan authorities forces beneath sure circumstances.

The circumstances beneath which such strikes is likely to be used should not clear, neither is it identified for the way lengthy McKenzie will preserve the strike authority.

A deal the US struck with the Taliban in February 2020 included a promise from the rebel motion to not assault US and NATO troops, a dedication it seems they’ve largely saved.

Whereas Washington is just not saying what number of troops stay in Afghanistan, a CENTCOM assertion greater than per week in the past stated the withdrawal was 90 per cent full.

President Joe Biden has reiterated that the US will stay engaged in Afghanistan with humanitarian help. The US is also dedicated to spending USD 4.4 billion yearly to fund Afghanistan’s safety forces till 2024.

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