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Afghanistan: country’s security forces could face ‘possible bad results’, says U.S. General Mark Milley

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley referred to an Afghan army of over 300,000 people who “has been fighting for several years now” as a crucial element in determining the future of the country as the final withdrawal of the United States officially begins.

“On the one hand, you get really dramatic, bad results, and on the other hand, you get an army that stays together and a government that stays together,” Milley said. “Which of these options will come true at the end of the day, we frankly don’t know yet and we have to wait and see how things develop over the summer. There are a lot of variables to that, and what n is not 100% predictable. “

Speaking to a small group of reporters, including CNN, on a trip home from Hawaii on Saturday, Milley said the United States was providing “limited intelligence and limited support for airstrikes,” but Afghan security forces have operated with increasing independence, although they still rely heavily on American contractors for support, maintenance and more.

On Saturday, the United States began ceding a base to the Afghan army in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the site of some of the fiercest fighting against Taliban forces in previous years. It is one of a series of military installations to be handed over to Afghan security forces as part of the withdrawal announced last month by President Joe Biden.

A day earlier, the Taliban briefly invaded an Afghan army base in southeastern Ghazni province, Deputy Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman told CNN before the forces Afghan women do not resume it this weekend.

Meanwhile, the The United States carried out a precision strike against rockets targeting Kandahar Airfield as a result of indirect fire at the site, Col. Sonny Leggett, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, said in a tweet. The indirect fire caused no injuries or damage, but US military leaders have pledged to respond forcefully to any targeting by US forces or the coalition.

When asked on Saturday if it was possible to glean anything from the remainder of the early days withdrawal, Milley said it was too early to tell. Milley described the withdrawal of the remaining troops as the continuation of a decade-long process, rather than an isolated and isolated decision. The peak of US forces came in 2011, with around 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, according to the Congressional Research Service. The strategic withdrawal did indeed begin soon after, Milley said.

“It has been a long downhill journey as we deliberately transferred functions and responsibilities to the Afghan security forces at the time,” Milley said. “This has been going on for quite some time. This is only the final stage.”

As the final withdrawal progresses, Milley has raised the possibility of completing the withdrawal before September 11.

“It’s possible,” Milley said. “We do have a window. The September period is an ‘at the latest’ hour. It is not an ‘at the earliest’ hour. We are going to conduct coordinated, synchronized operations, protect the force, and we are going to do it. We will do it as quickly as possible, but we want to do it as quickly as it is responsible, coordinated, synchronized with our NATO allies. “

On April 21, a spokesperson for the German Defense Ministry said the headquarters of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan was considering an earlier withdrawal date, possibly as early as July 4. together ”and close synchronization with NATO allies, he suggests that the United States may consider the possibility of completing the withdrawal by mid-summer.

“There’s a range, and there are variables that will play a role here, so I don’t want to put specific dates in there,” Milley said, “but the president gave us a window, and we’re very confident that we “I will meet these goals. “

With at most four and a half months before the end of the withdrawal, the United States remains focused on finding a negotiated end to the fighting, Milley said.

“We, the US government, are still pursuing a negotiated outcome, as it should be. It is not in the interest of the Afghan people, the current Afghan government or the Taliban to turn into this massive civil war, which is one of the outcomes that people are talking about. But it’s not in anyone’s best interests, ”Milley said.

“A responsible end to the conflict in Afghanistan, the best and the best way to achieve this is to negotiate an outcome, and it is always one of the efforts of the US government to try to negotiate this between the warring parties. “


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