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Sources: United States troop withdrawal from Afghanistan full ‘for all intents and functions’

The U.S. navy’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is essentially complete, despite President Joe Biden’s feedback last week that American troops will go away by late August, in accordance with two U.S. officials.

“The withdrawal is over, for all intents and purposes,” stated one of the officers with direct information of the scenario, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive planning. “It’s carried out.”

The U.S. presently has roughly 600 troops in Afghanistan, most of whom are Marine Corps and Army personnel offering safety at the united states Embassy in Kabul, the particular person stated. The remainder of the 600 might be primarily based on the Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, said another U.S. official with direct knowledge of the discussions. All of those troops are expected to remain after the pullout is officially full, The Associated Press first reported last month.

Besides the safety troops, the one U.S. army personnel left to withdraw by the Sept. 11 deadline Biden set in May are Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, and a handful of employees, the 2 officials stated. U.S. Central Command introduced on Tuesday that the withdrawal was ninety percent full, and the last American troops on Friday left Bagram Air Base, the focal point of the U.S. war effort for the last 20 years.

In addition, the united states military must also pull out the remaining safety and logistical forces sent in quickly this spring to allow the drawdown, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said in an announcement to POLITICO.

“While the withdrawal is over 90% full, it isn’t done,” Kirby mentioned. “Temporary Enabling Forces stay in theater which are focused on providing security for a protected and orderly withdrawal. As lengthy as these forces and certain contract help are still there, the withdrawal is ongoing.”

Kirby added that the deliberate transition of command from Miller and Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, has not yet occurred, and the NATO Resolute Support mission additionally continues.

Miller is presently on official travel, but is expected to return to Afghanistan, Kirby informed reporters Friday. The general will stay in the nation for the following few weeks to help facilitate the transition of the Afghanistan mission over to McKenzie, he mentioned.

The main reason Miller is staying is to spice up the morale of the Afghan security forces, who have endured heightened assaults by the Taliban across the nation over the past few months, the second U.S. official said. The attacks have further intensified in current weeks, with the Taliban taking management of 10 % of the nation within the last six days alone, based on the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which has closely tracked the battle.

Overall, the Taliban controls 188 of the country’s 407 districts, and contests another a hundred thirty five, in accordance with FDD.

After the U.S. exit from Bagram on Friday, Afghan officials accused the United States of leaving in the useless of night without notifying the bottom’s new Afghan commander, who reportedly found out two hours after the troops left. Electricity and lights have been suddenly shut off because the Americans departed.

Kirby disputed that characterization on Tuesday, telling reporters that Afghan civilian and military leaders have been “appropriately coordinated with and briefed” in regards to the turnover. However, U.S. army leaders did not inform the Afghans of the precise timing of their departure due to “operational security causes.”

“We have needed to function under the belief that this drawdown could be contested at any time,” Kirby mentioned. “We’re very cautious about what we are saying and the way much detail we offer on the market, however there was coordination.”

When the final transfer at Bagram occurred, electrical energy and water services grew to become the responsibility of Afghan forces, Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Rob Lodewick stated Wednesday. U.S. forces offered coaching to the Afghans leading up to that point on tips on how to handle and function Bagram’s utility methods, he stated.

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