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Taliban appear to have ‘strategic momentum’ in Afghanistan: prime US normal

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Taliban seem to have strategic momentum in Afghanistan: top US general

WASHINGTON: The Taliban seem to have the “strategic momentum” of their sweeping offensives throughout Afghanistan, however their victory is way from assured, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of employees Normal Mark Milley stated Wednesday.

Practically 20 years after the US toppled the Taliban regime within the wake of the 9/11 assaults, and with the withdrawal of American-led overseas forces all however full, the resurgent militants now management about half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts.

However they’ve not one of the nation’s densely populated essential cities, Milley informed a press convention.

With the militants placing stress on round half of the nation’s provincial capitals, Afghan troops are “consolidating their forces” to guard these main city facilities, he added.

“They’re taking an approach to protect the population, and most of the population lives in the provincial capitals and capital city of Kabul,” Milley stated.

“A Taliban automatic military takeover is not a foregone conclusion.”

The Taliban are surging throughout Afghanistan, snapping up territory, seizing border crossings and encircling cities.

Their success has examined the morale of the Afghan military, already battered by years of shockingly excessive casualties and, extra not too long ago, the choice by worldwide troops to go away.

Although the Afghan military has been skilled and geared up by worldwide forces, and estimates present it vastly outnumbers the Taliban’s ranks, Milley stated numbers are usually not all it takes to win a struggle.

“The two most important combat multipliers actually are will and leadership. And this is going to be a test now of the will and leadership of the Afghan people, the Afghan security forces and the government of Afghanistan,” he stated.

US President Joe Biden has additionally stated {that a} Taliban takeover is “not inevitable.”

However earlier this month he additionally warned that Afghans should come collectively towards the insurgents, and admitted it was “highly unlikely” that one unified authorities would find yourself controlling the whole nation.

– Finish sport ‘not but written’ –

The US has insisted it’s going to proceed supporting the Afghan military.

Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin stated america handed over three Blackhawk helicopter gunships to the Afghan military on Friday and that extra tools would comply with.

He added that US items had been positioned in Qatar to maintain preventing jihadists in Afghanistan after the withdrawal.

“We remain committed to helping the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government going forward,” he stated.

The State Division additionally stated a primary group of round 700 Afghans who labored for the US military — making them targets for the Taliban — will arrive in america subsequent week with their rapid households.

One other 4,000 employees and their households, totalling some 20,000 folks, have been cleared to obtain immigrant visas, State Division official Tracey Jacobson stated.

Milley stated US withdrawal is 95 % full, with the evacuation of kit equal to the cargo of 984 C-17 plane.

His feedback got here hours after the Taliban stated Wednesday they’d battle solely to defend themselves over the Muslim vacation of Eid al-Adha, however stopped wanting declaring a proper ceasefire.

The militants have stated they “strenuously favor” a political settlement to finish the struggle with the federal government in Kabul.

However their push to capitalize on the withdrawal has left many Afghans sceptical.

President Ashraf Ghani stated Tuesday the Taliban had proved “they have no will and intention for peace,” and greater than a dozen diplomatic missions in Kabul this week known as for “an urgent end” to the offensive.

Afghan civilians, who’ve lengthy taken the brunt of the preventing, are additionally watching the Taliban advance in concern.

Many — particularly girls and minorities — stand to lose hard-won rights and freedoms if the militants return to any type of energy.

Even when Kabul can maintain them off, civilians face the potential for a protracted and bloody civil struggle or the nation fracturing alongside ethnic strains.

Milley stated the possibility of a negotiated political settlement is “still out there.”

“There’s a possibility of a complete Taliban takeover or possibility of any number of other scenarios — breakdowns, warlordism, all kinds of other scenarios out there,” he stated.

“We’re monitoring very closely. I don’t think the end game is yet written.”

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