World U.S. sends more firepower to Middle East as troops withdraw from Afghanistan
'It's an impossible situation': Democrats link arms with Biden on Afghanistan -- and brace for the worst
Most congressional Democrats are backing President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan this year, though many harbor nagging concerns that the gains won over the last 20 years will be erased and the Taliban will retake control after American troops are no longer there. © Thomas Watkins/AFP/Getty Images In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, US soldiers look out over hillsides during a visit of the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller at the Afghan National Army (ANA) checkpoint in Nerkh district of Wardak province.
- The Pentagon has deployed six B-52 Stratofortress bombers to the U.S. Central Command region, the combatant command that oversees America's military operations in the Middle East.
- In addition, the Pentagon has also extended the deployment of a U.S. Navy carrier strike group in the region.
- Last month, Biden announced a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, ending America's longest war.
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has ramped up its military assets in the Middle East as U.S. and NATO coalition forces begin the colossal task of withdrawing from Afghanistan.
Opinion: The lies that were told to sustain the US and UK mission in Afghanistan
In the end the lies about the US-led war in Afghanistan were bookended with -- even dominated by -- basic truths, writes Nick Paton Walsh. The lies themselves were not malicious -- more the deceit needed for survival. The things America had to tell itself to keep going. The lies the British - the largest NATO ally there - told were smaller, perhaps pettier, in the extremely violent and sparsely populated desert of Helmand they tried to control. Always said to be underfunded compared to their allies, always courageous, always carrying on and always maintaining their plan was working, even when it clearly was not.
This week, two more U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers arrived at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, bringing the total number of B-52s on standby to respond to a Taliban attack to six.
"We have made it exceedingly clear that protecting our forces and the forces of our allies and partners as they too withdraw is a priority, it's a main priority," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Wednesday.
"We have made plans to introduce additional ground force capabilities to, again, make sure that this is safe and orderly," Kirby added. The Pentagon also extended the deployment of a U.S. Navy carrier strike group in the region and deployed a dozen F-18 fighter jets to provide additional support.
Kirby has previously said that U.S. Central Command, the combatant command that oversees American operations in the Middle East, will continue to assess the need for additional military capabilities as the departure of U.S. and coalition forces proceeds.
EXPLAINER: What remains as US ends Afghan 'forever war'
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — After 20 years, America is ending its “forever war” in Afghanistan. Announcing a firm withdrawal deadline, President Joe Biden cut through the long debate, even within the U.S. military, over whether the time was right. Starting Saturday, the last remaining 2,500 to 3,5000 American troops will begin leaving, to be fully out by Sept. 11 at the latest. Another debate will likely go on far longer: Was it worth it? Since 2001, tens of thousands of Afghans and 2,442 American soldiers have been killed, millions of Afghans driven from their homes, and billions of dollars spent on war and reconstruction.
"The President has decided to end America's involvement in our longest war and we're going to do just that. And so far, less than one week in, the drawdown is going according to plan," Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday.
"Our focus is on making sure that we can retrograde our resources, our troops, our allies in a safe and orderly and responsible fashion," Austin said, adding that in the future the Defense Department, hopeful of congressional support, plans to provide financial aid to Afghan forces.
Last week, thefrom Afghanistan and that the Pentagon proactively deployed additional troops and military equipment to protect forces in the region.
Formal start of final phase of Afghan pullout by US, NATO
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The final phase of ending America's “forever war” in Afghanistan after 20 years formally began Saturday, with the withdrawal of the last U.S. and NATO troops by the end of summer. President Joe Biden had set May 1 as the official start of the withdrawal of the remaining forces — about 2,500-3,500 U.S. troops and about 7,000 NATO soldiers. Even before Saturday, the herculean task of packing up had begun. The military hasPresident Joe Biden had set May 1 as the official start of the withdrawal of the remaining forces — about 2,500-3,500 U.S. troops and about 7,000 NATO soldiers.
"Potential adversaries should know that if they attack us in our withdrawal, we will defend ourselves, [and] our partners, with all the tools at our disposal," White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling on Air Force One.
"While these actions will initially result in increased forces levels, we remain committed to having all U.S. military personnel out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021," she said, adding that the Biden administration is intent on a "safe and responsible" exit from the war-torn country.
In April, Biden announced af U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, ending America's longest war.
The removal of approximately 3,000 U.S. service members coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which spurred America's entry into lengthy wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Biden's withdrawal timeline breaks with a proposed deadline brokered last year by the. According to that deal, all foreign forces would have had to leave Afghanistan by May 1.
Since Biden's decision to exit the country, the U.S. has removed the equivalent of approximately 60 C-17 Globemaster loads of material out of Afghanistan, according to an update from Central Command. More than 1,300 pieces of equipment, which will not be left to the Afghan military, have also been handed over to the Defense Logistics Agency for destruction.
The U.S. has also officially handed over one facility to the Afghan military. So far, Central Command estimates that the U.S. has completed between 2% to 6% of the withdrawal process.
‘They will slaughter us’: Afghans who worked with US beg for visas as troop withdrawal looms .
US veterans groups are calling on the Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who worked with American troops during the war and Taliban would targetMahmoodi quickly alerted an Army sergeant, and the Afghan soldier was expelled from service.