The Taliban appear to have “strategic momentum” in the fight for control of Afghanistan as it puts pressure on major cities and sets the stage for a decisive period in the coming weeks once the U.S. military completes its withdrawal. That’s what the U.S. military chief officer says.
“This will be a test of the will and leadership of the Afghan people, the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a press conference in the Pentagon.
According to the Pentagon, the US withdrawal is 95% complete and is expected to be completed by August 31st.
The Byden administration has vowed to continue financial and back-up support for Afghan troops after August, but U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said U.S. military efforts will focus on countering the threat of terrorism rather than the Taliban. He said it would be.
Talking to General Millie, Austin “watches al-Qaeda, a militant network that uses Afghanistan as a haven to plan a 9.11 attack on the United States, which is why the U.S. military invaded Afghanistan in 2001. I will do it. “
“Our main focus in the future is to prevent violence and terrorism from being exported from Afghanistan to our homeland. Therefore, the ability to not only observe it, but also cope with it when it occurs. “Austin added that the Taliban promised not to provide al-Qaeda with a sanctuary in the future in 2020.
“We expect them to fulfill that promise.
“If they want legitimacy in the future, I think that’s something they have to consider.
“It’s one way to get it, so let’s see what happens.”
He reiterated his view that al-Qaeda had a “moderate risk” of regaining its ability to launch attacks on the West within about two years of the departure of the United States.
“But again, there are some things that can happen to make it a little faster or slower,” he added.
General Millie said the Taliban currently controls about half of Afghanistan’s 419 district centers and has not yet occupied any of the country’s 34 state capitals, but is putting pressure on about half of them. Taliban.
As the Taliban occupy more territory, Afghan security forces are strengthening their position to protect major densely populated areas, including Kabul, he said.
“A significant amount of territory was seized by the Taliban in six, eight or ten months, so momentum seems to be there, and strategic momentum looks like the Taliban,” said General Milly.
The Taliban are trying to give the impression that a US-backed victory over the Kabul government is inevitable, but said he believes the Afghan army and police have the training and equipment to win.
He said he would not rule out political reconciliation through negotiations with the Taliban or “complete Taliban takeover.”
“I don’t think the endgame has been written yet,” he said.
Pentagon acknowledges Taliban momentum
Source link Pentagon acknowledges Taliban momentum