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Gen. Mark Milley says Taliban seem to have ‘strategic momentum’

The Taliban seem to have “strategic momentum” within the battle for management of Afghanistan as they put growing stress on key cities, setting the stage for a decisive interval within the coming weeks as American forces full their withdrawal, the highest US army officer stated.

“That is going to be a check now of the desire and management of the Afghan individuals — the Afghan safety forces and the federal government of Afghanistan,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, informed a Pentagon press convention on Wednesday.

The Pentagon says the US withdrawal is 95 per cent completed and can be accomplished by August 31. And whereas the Biden administration has vowed to proceed monetary help and logistical assist for Afghan forces after August, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stated the main target of US army efforts there can be countering terrorist threats, not the Taliban.

Talking alongside Milley, Austin stated the US will “keep watch over” Al-Qaeda, the extremist community whose use of Afghanistan as a haven for planning the 9/11 assaults on the USA was the rationale US forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

“Our main focus going ahead is to be sure that violence, terrorism, can’t be exported from Afghanistan to our homeland, and so we’ll keep the aptitude to have the ability to not solely observe that but additionally tackle that if it does emerge,” Austin stated, including that the Taliban pledged in 2020 to not present a sanctuary for Al-Qaeda sooner or later.

“We anticipate for them to fulfill that dedication. If they need legitimacy going ahead, I believe that is one thing they’re going to have to think about. That is one method to earn it, so we’ll see what occurs.” He reiterated his view that there’s a “medium threat” of Al-Qaeda regaining inside about two years of the US departure the aptitude to launch assaults towards the West.

“However, once more, there are a selection of issues that would occur to hurry that up a bit or sluggish it down,” he added.

Milley stated the Taliban now management about half of the 419 district centres in Afghanistan, and whereas they’ve but to seize any of the nation’s 34 provincial capitals, they’re pressuring about half of them. Because the Taliban seize extra territory, the Afghan safety forces are consolidating their positions to guard key inhabitants centres, together with Kabul, he stated.

“A major quantity of territory has been seized over the course of six, eight, 10 months by the Taliban, so momentum seems to be — strategic momentum seems to be — type of with the Taliban,” Milley stated.

Milley stated that whereas the Taliban try to create the impression that their victory over the US-backed Kabul authorities is inevitable, he believes the Afghan army and police have the coaching and tools to prevail. He stated he wouldn’t rule out a negotiated political settlement with the Taliban, nor would he exclude “an entire Taliban takeover”.

“I do not assume the tip sport is but written,” he stated.

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