Politics|A apical U.S. wide successful Afghanistan steps down arsenic the warfare ends and the Taliban expanse crossed overmuch of the country.
July 12, 2021Updated 5:55 p.m. ET
KABUL, Afghanistan — The apical American wide successful Afghanistan stepped down connected Monday, a symbolic infinitesimal arsenic the United States nears the extremity of its 20-year-old warfare and Taliban fighters expanse crossed the country.
At a muted ceremonial astatine U.S. and NATO subject office successful Kabul, Gen. Austin S. Miller ended his astir three-year word arsenic commander. His duties volition beryllium filled by 2 officials. Rear Adm. Peter G. Vasely, a erstwhile subordinate of SEAL Team 6, volition instrumentality complaint of the information ngo astatine the United States Embassy successful Kabul. He volition study to Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the caput of the military’s Central Command, who volition instrumentality implicit the broader subject ngo successful Afghanistan.
“It’s important to maine to accidental farewell,” General Miller said. The ceremony, which lasted little than an hour, was attended by high-ranking Afghan officials, including Abdullah Abdullah, who is starring bid negotiations. “Our occupation is present not to forget,” General Miller said.
General McKenzie, who arrived successful Kabul connected Monday, spoke afterward, assuring those contiguous that the Americans were not abandoning the Afghan radical successful specified dire times.
“It’s not the extremity of the story,” General McKenzie said. “It’s the extremity of a chapter.”
General Miller oversaw a subject run aimed astatine keeping the Taliban astatine the negotiating array and the Afghan forces unified successful the look of governmental uncertainty.
Despite thousands of airstrikes, accrued civilian casualties and short-term tactical gains, it is unclear however palmy the U.S. subject effort was: The last statement betwixt the insurgent radical and the United States successful February 2020 intelligibly favored the Taliban, and the Afghan authorities was wholly chopped retired of the deal.
The Taliban person seized power of much than 160 of the country’s astir 400 districts successful the past 2 months, and hundreds of Afghan troops person surrendered, giving up their U.S.-supplied instrumentality and fleeing, sometimes into neighboring countries. Key provincial cities successful some the northbound and southbound are nether siege, and Afghan authorities counterattacks person had constricted success.