Tuesday, May 11

Pentagon unsure on pullback day for U.S. troops in Afghanistan

Pentagon unsure on pullback day for U.S. troops in Afghanistan

Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division collect their devices ahead of boarding a CH-47F Chinook that serves with the Task Power Traveling Dragons, or 1st General Assistance Aviation Battalion., 25th Avn. Regiment, 16th Combat Avn. Brigade, in the Nawa Valley, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan,

Picture: U.S. Military photo by Employees Sgt. Whitney Houston | FlickrCC

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon stated Thursday that the U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan would be contingent on the Taliban’s commitments to uphold a peace offer brokered previous yr.

“The Taliban have not met their commitments,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby instructed reporters through a press briefing.

He included that Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin was examining the make a difference and experienced mentioned the path forward in the war-torn country with NATO allies and partners.

“It is less than discussion with our associates and allies to make the best decisions likely ahead on our force existence in Afghanistan,” Kirby said, adding that the Biden administration has not designed a dedication.

The United States brokered a offer with the Taliban last February that would usher in a lasting cease-fire and lessen the U.S. military’s footprint from somewhere around 13,000 to 8,600 by mid-July very last yr. By Could 2021, all foreign forces would leave the war-torn nation, in accordance to the offer.

Previous President Donald Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on halting “ridiculous countless wars” in the Middle East, accelerated the reduction of U.S. troops in November.

Then-performing Pentagon chief Christopher Miller introduced that the Trump administration would drop its military services existence in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops and in Iraq to 2,500 troops by Jan. 15.

“This final decision by the president is primarily based on steady engagement with his nationwide safety cabinet in excess of the previous quite a few months which include ongoing conversations with me and my colleagues across the United States government,” Miller stated at the Pentagon.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that leaving Afghanistan as well soon or in an uncoordinated effort and hard work could current unintended outcomes for the world’s major armed service group.

“Afghanistan threats turning out to be after once more a system for international terrorists to strategy and arrange assaults on our homelands. And ISIS could rebuild in Afghanistan the terror caliphate it missing in Syria and Iraq,” the NATO main claimed, referring to Islamic Point out militants. 

NATO joined the global security hard work in Afghanistan in 2003 and at the moment has additional than 7,000 troops in the nation. NATO’s stability procedure in Afghanistan was released soon after the alliance activated its mutual defense clause — known as Article 5 — for the 1st time in the wake of the 9/11 assaults.

There are somewhere around 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1.57 trillion since Sept. 11, 2001, in accordance to a Defense Office report. The war in Afghanistan, which has dragged on to grow to be America’s longest conflict, started 19 a long time ago and has price tag U.S. taxpayers $193 billion, according to the Pentagon.

Amid the dealt with problems in the offer that leave the U.S. presence up in the air are the introduction of intra-Afghan negotiations and the ensure that Afghanistan won’t again become a refuge for terrorists.

“The secretary has been very apparent, and President Biden has also, it can be time to stop this war, but we want to do it responsibly, we want to do it in preserving with our countrywide safety pursuits and people of our Afghan partners,” Kirby advised reporters at the Pentagon.

— CNBC’s Christian Nunley contributed to this report from Virginia.

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