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Pentagon Seeks to Soften Blow of U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan

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The August date additionally offers the administration extra time to search out locations to relocate hundreds of Afghans, and their members of the family, who helped People throughout the 20-year battle. The White Home has come underneath heavy stress to guard Afghan allies from revenge assaults by the Taliban and velocity up the prolonged and complicated strategy of offering them with particular immigrant visas.

“We are able to’t flip our backs and go away them to die,” Consultant Michael McCaul of Texas, the highest Republican on the Home Overseas Affairs Committee, mentioned on “Fox Information Sunday.” “They are going to be slaughtered by the Taliban.”

Administration officers beforehand mentioned they have been Guam as one attainable location, however State Division officers say they want a number of websites. The overseas ministers of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been each in Washington final week, and the problem of Afghan safety was raised of their conferences with Mr. Austin and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.

Lastly, having Common Miller keep on a couple of extra weeks, and increasing the safety umbrella not less than by way of August, is meant to supply, if nothing else, a lift for beleaguered Afghan troops. Pentagon officers mentioned that exiting Bagram Air Base and having Common Miller go away on the identical time would have been a devastating blow to Afghan morale.

“A secure, orderly drawdown allows us to take care of an ongoing diplomatic presence, help the Afghan individuals and the federal government, and forestall Afghanistan from as soon as once more turning into a secure haven for terrorists that threatens our homeland,” Mr. Kirby mentioned.

The White Home joined within the reassurance messaging marketing campaign on Friday — up to some extent. Mr. Biden mentioned that despite the fact that the US nonetheless retained the flexibility to conduct airstrikes to guard the Afghan authorities, no reversal of the withdrawal was on the desk.

“Now we have labored out an over-the-horizon capability,” he mentioned, speaking about American warplanes and armed Reaper drones based mostly primarily within the Persian Gulf, “however the Afghans are going to need to do it themselves with the air power they’ve.”

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