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World General: Afghan military will collapse without some US help

01:30  23 april  2021
01:30  23 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

Biden to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11

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WASHINGTON — (AP) — Afghanistan 's military " will certainly collapse " without some continued American support once all U . S . troops are withdrawn, the top U . S . general for the Middle East told Congress Thursday. He said “ we will look to continue funding key capabilities such as the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing, and we will seek to continue paying salaries for Afghan Security Forces.” Austin and others have said the U . S . will maintain the ability to counter terrorists in Afghanistan , but there are few details, and officials say they have not yet gotten any diplomatic

Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, head of U . S . Central Command, speaks with U . S . troops while visiting Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan , Sept. 9, 2019. "My concern is the ability of the Afghan military to hold the ground that they're on now without the support they've " We will see reports of atrocities in those areas as committed by the Taliban if these Afghan national forces are not able to hold their own." Threat of increased violence. There has also been concern about the safety of U . S . and coalition forces during the withdrawal. Some lawmakers and analysts see the

WASHINGTON (AP) — Afghanistan’s military “will certainly collapse” without some continued American support once all U.S. troops are withdrawn, the top U.S. general for the Middle East told Congress Thursday. Gen. Frank McKenzie also said he was very concerned about the Afghan government’s ability to protect the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

FILE - In this April1 14, 2018, file photo, then-Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this April1 14, 2018, file photo, then-Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie speaks during a media availability at the Pentagon in Washington. In a blunt assessment Tuesday, Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, told Congress it will be extremely difficult but not impossible for the U.S. to find, track and take out counterterrorism threats in Afghanistan once all American troops are withdrawn. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said that as the U.S. pulls out all forces, “my concern is the Afghans' ability to hold ground” and whether they will able to continue to maintain and fly their aircraft without U.S. aid and financial support. Later, at a Pentagon news conference, McKenzie said the U.S. will look for “some remote, televised way” to help the Afghan security forces perform maintenance on their aircraft without having U.S. personnel in the country.

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US Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie expressed concerns Thursday that the Afghan military has become highly dependent on American assistance, and that a pullout of US troops could endanger the former's ability to continue holding their territories or even cause the government to collapse . He added however that he continues to believe that the invasion of Afghanistan was a “good cause” and that the 19+ year conflict has helped to prevent attacks against the United States . The general estimated that the Taliban has about 50,000 fighters, and controls more of the country

“Yes, we will bring additional resources in, in order to protect the force as it comes out,” the general said. The U . S . military has begun shipping equipment and winding down contracts with local service providers ahead of the May 1 start General : Afghan military will collapse without some US help .

FILE - In this April 14, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House about the withdrawal of the remainder of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. A U.S. defense department official said Thursday April 22, 2021, that the U.S. military has begun shipping equipment and winding down contracts with local service providers ahead of the May 1 start of the final phase of its military pullout from Afghanistan. The pullout marks the end of America’s longest war, after a 20-year military engagement. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this April 14, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House about the withdrawal of the remainder of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. A U.S. defense department official said Thursday April 22, 2021, that the U.S. military has begun shipping equipment and winding down contracts with local service providers ahead of the May 1 start of the final phase of its military pullout from Afghanistan. The pullout marks the end of America’s longest war, after a 20-year military engagement. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)

“We're certainly going to try to do everything we can from distant locations to assist the Afghans as they maintain the aircraft and other platforms that will be essential for the fight ahead of them,” the general said. He added later: “We're going to try all kinds of innovate ways. The one thing I can tell you is, we're not going to be there on the ground with them.”

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Some officials have warned that a U . S . exit will lead to the collapse of the Kabul government while jeopardizing gains made over the past two decades in health, education and women’s rights. Biden administration officials say the United States intends to remain closely involved in the peace process and will continue to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to the Afghan government and We believe we achieved that objective some years ago,” the senior official said, and now judge the threat to the United States “to be at a level that we can address it without a persistent military footprint.”

Some estimates hold that the US -backed government controls, at most, 70% of the country. Wary of total collapse , Obama will leave 5,500 troops in Afghanistan past his presidency, with substantive reductions from the current 9,800-troop force backloaded until his final days in office. Nicholson said the Afghans still retained lead fighting responsibility against the Taliban but pledged not to allow associated forces to overrun the southern city of Kandahar. US forces, he said, would be able to strike Isis in Afghanistan without restriction. While not explicitly endorsing a generational presence in

In his testimony, McKenzie said it will be paramount to protect the U.S. Embassy and “it is a matter of great concern to me whether or not the future government of Afghanistan will be able to do that once we leave.”

McKenzie has spent the week detailing to lawmakers the steep challenges facing the U.S. military as it moves to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, as ordered by President Joe Biden last week. Walking a careful line, the general has painted a dire picture of the road ahead, while also avoiding any pushback on Biden's decision.

U.S. officials have made it clear that military commanders did not recommend the full, unconditional withdrawal that Biden has ordered. Military leaders have consistently argued for a drawdown based on security conditions in the country, saying that pulling troops out by a certain date eliminates pressure on the Taliban and weakens U.S. leverage in the peace talks with the group.

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The US has lost several thousand military members. Nato countries who went to Afghanistan in support of this effort have lost a lot of things. I don't see a lot of gain. I'm afraid that, when the US leaves, the Taliban is going to throw them out of school again and take away the few rights they do have in the country. Should the US maintain its overseas military presence or instead focus on domestic issues?

The number of US troops on the ground in Afghanistan fluctuates, and US media report the current total is closer to 3,500. US and Nato officials have said the Taliban, a hardline Islamist movement, have so far failed to live up to commitments to reduce violence in Afghanistan . Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tweeted that he had spoken on the phone with Mr Biden on Wednesday, and that the country "respects the US decision and we will work with our US partners to ensure a smooth transition". He added that Afghanistan 's defence forces "are fully capable of defending its people and country".

Still, McKenzie said the Biden administration's “deliberate and methodical” withdrawal discussion “was heartening,” implicitly drawing a contrast with former President Donald Trump's penchant for making abrupt troop withdrawal decisions and announcing them by tweet.

In public and private sessions with lawmakers, McKenzie has been pressed about how the U.S. will maintain pressure on the Taliban and prevent terrorist groups from taking hold in Afghanistan again once the United States and its coalition partners leave. The U.S. has more than 2,500 troops in the country; the NATO coalition has said it will follow the same timetable for withdrawing the more than 7,000 allied forces.

He told the Senate Armed Service Committee on Thursday that once troops leave the country, it will take “considerably longer” than four hours to move armed drones or other aircraft in and out of Afghanistan to provide overhead surveillance or counterterrorism strikes. He said it will require far more aircraft than he is using now.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking at NATO earlier this month, said the U.S. will continue to support the Afghans after the withdrawal. He said “we will look to continue funding key capabilities such as the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing, and we will seek to continue paying salaries for Afghan Security Forces.”

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Austin and others have said the U.S. will maintain the ability to counter terrorists in Afghanistan, but there are few details, and officials say they have not yet gotten any diplomatic agreements for basing with any of the surrounding nations.

McKenzie has declined to provide details during the public sessions.

He said there are no decisions yet on what size of diplomatic contingent will be left at the U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital, and whether it will include a security cooperation office. Those decisions, he said, could reflect how the U.S. ensures the defense of the embassy. Marines often provide security at other embassies around the world.

Senators voiced divided views on the withdrawal, with comments crossing party lines. Several lawmakers questioned whether the U.S. will be able to prevent the Taliban from allowing a resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan who are seeking to attack America. Others asked if the U.S. will be able to adequately account for how the Afghan government spends any American money.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. said there are concerns that a U.S. withdrawal will create a vacuum in the country that China, Russian or Iran will fill. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., argued that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan over the past 10 years has not led to much improvement. She said the government is still corrupt and the Taliban control a larger portion of the country than it did before.

The Pentagon has said it’s not clear yet whether any U.S. contractors will remain in the country. The Defense Department says the number of contractors in Afghanistan started to decline over the past year or so. According to the latest numbers, there are close to 17,000 Defense Department-funded contractors in Afghanistan and less than one-third of those were Americans.

The total included more than 2,800 armed and unarmed private security contractors, of which more than 1,500 are armed. Of those 1,500, about 600 are Americans.

___ AP National Security correspondent Robert Burns contributed to this report.

Millions in Taliban Taxes Show Who’s in Charge as U.S. Departs .
Running a business in Afghanistan has one unspoken rule: Pay the Taliban. © Photographer: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP Members of the Taliban delegation attend the opening session of the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha. Abdul Ahad Wahidi learned that the hard way when insurgents blew up a gas pipeline last year that fuels the country’s only fertilizer plant after its operator refused to pay up. Now he and other workers at the factory fork over 14% of their wages to the Taliban -- nearly five times more than they pay the government in taxes.

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This is interesting!