US sends 5,000 troopers to Afghanistan to assist withdraw
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden announced Saturday that he had authorized the dispatch of 5,000 soldiers to Afghanistan to ensure an “orderly and safe” withdrawal and evacuate US personnel and Afghans who helped American forces during the Taliban -Fighters continued to make quick territorial gains across the country.
The president dispatched 1,000 soldiers in addition to the 3,000 the Pentagon sent to Afghanistan earlier this week and the 1,000 soldiers already on the ground, said a defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, to discuss the matter. The troops will help evacuate military personnel from Kabul while the Taliban continue to build territorial gains at a breathtaking pace.
Biden made the announcement in a statement outlining a number of measures he took after a morning meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris and his national security team to help the Afghan armed forces blunt the Taliban onslaught, an official said of the White House, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the meeting.
The president’s statement comes as the Taliban took control of the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, the country’s fourth largest city, and dealt another blow to the beleaguered Afghan government. The militant group now controls around 24 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and is rapidly advancing into the capital, Kabul.
Biden said he had directed US forces and intelligence “to ensure we maintain the ability and vigilance to face future terrorist threats from Afghanistan,” and instructed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to assist Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and engage regional stakeholders. prevent further bloodshed and seek political agreement with Taliban insurgents.
The president also said US officials had warned Taliban officials in Doha, Qatar that any action on the ground in Afghanistan that threatened the safety of US personnel or the mission there would “respond with a swift and strong US military response will be”.
Ambassador Tracey Jacobson, director of the government’s Afghanistan task force, has been tasked with ensuring “full government efforts” to transport and relocate Afghan immigrant visa applicants and other Afghan allies, the statement said.
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The president appeared to blame the situation on former President Donald Trump, who, he said, “left the Taliban in its strongest military position since 2001” when he took them to camp on the eve of September 11, 2019 David invited.
Trump, who brokered a deal with the Taliban to protect Afghanistan by Sept.
“So when I became president, I was faced with a choice – to enforce the agreement with a brief extension to bring our armed forces and those of our allies out safely, or to increase our presence and send more American troops to fight again drag civil war in another country, “said Biden.
“I was the fourth president to head an American troop presence in Afghanistan – two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not and will not pass this war on to a fifth.”
Early Saturday, Biden and Harris met with Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to call for the US withdrawal from the White House discuss official said.
Contributor: Associated Press