Senior US generals in Afghanistan give up command of AsiaNews

As the United States ends its 20-year war in Afghanistan, Kenneth McKenzie will succeed the four-star general Scott Miller.

The U.S. Supreme General in Afghanistan gave up command in an official ceremony in the capital on Monday, the latest symbolic gesture that brought the longest U.S. war to an end.

According to an AFP reporter at the ceremony in Kabul, when the Taliban made overall progress across the country, General Austin “Scott” Miller, the highest-ranking local military officer in Afghanistan, handed over command to Kenneth McKenzie. General.

Miller has been in Afghanistan since 2018, but was accused by Commander-in-Chief Joe Biden in May of organizing the final withdrawal of the US military, which will be completed by the end of August.

Since May, most of the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops at that time have left, and the U.S. has also handed them over to the Afghan Army Bagram Air Force Base, where coalition forces have conducted operations against the Taliban and armed groups for the past 20 years.

About 650 American soldiers are expected to be stationed in Kabul to defend Washington’s sprawling diplomatic compound, where Monday’s ceremony will take place.

Senior Afghan officials and military officers attended the ceremony in the heavily guarded Green Zone.

President Joe Biden reiterated that the United States will continue to provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

The United States has also pledged to spend US$4.4 billion annually to fund Afghan security forces by 2024.

Taliban gains control

As Taliban fighters quickly seized territories across Afghanistan, the heavily guarded Resolute Support headquarters in the center of Kabul was handed over.

During a flag-raising ceremony, Miller remembered the American and NATO troops who died in the war of nearly 20 years, as well as thousands of Afghans who lost their lives.

He warned that relentless violence across Afghanistan is making a political settlement increasingly difficult.

The outgoing commander stated that he has told Taliban officials “It is important that the military creates conditions for a peaceful and political settlement in Afghanistan… But we know that in this violent incident, achieving a political settlement will be very difficult. “

The Afghan defense and security forces, mainly funded by the United States and NATO, have resisted in certain areas of the country, but the vast majority of Afghan government forces seem to have given up fighting.

In recent weeks, the Taliban have acquired several strategic locations, especially along the borders with Iran, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who attended the handover ceremony, said that the withdrawal of the United States and NATO has left a vacuum, resulting in the Afghan national security forces being stranded on the battlefield without supplies, and sometimes running out of food and ammunition.

In comments after the ceremony, Mohib said that the biggest impact of the withdrawal is the lack of aircraft to supply the troops.

Currently, the government is reorganizing to retake strategic areas and defend its cities from the Taliban.

The Taliban control more than one third of Afghanistan’s 421 regions and regional centers. The Taliban’s claim that they control 85% of the area is widely regarded as an exaggeration.


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