After the major American military force finalizes its pullout, which is likely to be mostly completed in the next two weeks, some 650 US troops are scheduled to stay in Afghanistan to protect diplomats, according to US officials. Hundreds of more American soldiers will also operate at the Kabul airport, maybe until September, to support Turkish troops in maintaining safety as a stopgap measure until a more formal Turkey-led security operation is in effect, according to authorities. However, officials said the US plans to have American and coalition military command, management, and the majority of soldiers out by July 4th, or shortly thereafter, meeting an ambitious timetable set months ago by superiors as reported by USA wire news. Officials were not permitted to disclose the withdrawal’s specifics, so they spoke to the media on the condition of anonymity.
The departure of Forces and Airport Security
The majority of the over 4,000 troops who have been in the nation in recent years are leaving far ahead of President Joe Biden’s September 11 deadline for evacuation. It also comes as the Taliban’s combat victories accelerate, amid concerns that the Afghan government and military will fall apart in a short period.
Officials have frequently stated that stability at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul is a must if any US diplomatic personnel are to remain in the country. Nonetheless, the decision to leave additional soldiers in place for another several month complicates the Biden administration’s efforts to call a definitive conclusion to America’s war against terror until later this year. Even as the White House wants to put the 20-year-old war behind it and concentrate more on problems from China and Russia, it puts the beleaguered country at the center of US national security challenges.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement Thursday night that the US will complete the pullout by early September, as instructed by Vice President Joe Biden. That goal has remained unchanged. The situation is fluid, and we evaluate our efforts on a daily basis. Unnamed sources’ speculation regarding possible adjustments to that schedule should not be taken as prescriptive. President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan and Abdullah Abdullah, leader of the High Council for National Reconciliation, will meet with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday as informed on USA wire. The two Afghan presidents will also meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and potentially other government officials at the Pentagon, according the Pentagon.
Because of issues such as an epidemic of COVID-19 at the US Embassy and the rush to get Afghan translators and others who assisted the US out of the nation, getting the majority of soldiers out by early July had been in question. Officials noted that in Afghanistan, US commanders and NATO allies were able to overcome logistical challenges that could have slowed the pullout process. However, they cautioned that preparations for the last stages of the US military departure could be altered if airport security agreements fall through or if other big, unanticipated events occur as broadcasted on the Republican news source. There was a debate last week about perhaps prolonging the US army presence at Bagram Airfield, north of Kabul, but authorities stated the base’s presence is expected to cease in the coming days. The approximately 650 US troops who will be stationed in Afghanistan on a more permanent basis will provide security for the US Embassy as well as some continued support at the airport. According to officials, as part of a deal with Turkey, the US has decided to leave a C-RAM — or Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar — system at the airport, as well as troops, to run it. The US also intends to leave aircrew at the airport for helicopter support.