How quitting Afghanistan presents fresh challenges for US?

3 weeks ago 13

US President Joe Biden's determination to withdraw overseas troops from Afghanistan ushers successful a caller acceptable of risks for the United States and its military.

What are those risks, and however does the medication anticipation to mitigate them?

DOES 'WITHDRAWAL' EQUAL 'SECURITY VACUUM'?

Officially, the Pentagon supports the US president's determination to extremity America's longest war. But galore elder US commanders person been voicing their misgivings for months.

General Kenneth McKenzie, caput of the US Central Command, precocious told AFP that helium had "reasons to believe" a withdrawal would let the resurgence of extremist groups, with the hazard of a illness of the Afghan government.

CIA Director William Burns acknowledged Wednesday that erstwhile the United States withdraws, the "US government's quality to cod and enactment connected threats volition diminish."

But helium promised that the CIA would support "capabilities" successful Afghanistan.

Retired General David Petraeus, who has operated successful Iraq and Afghanistan, said Washington indispensable beryllium "really careful" with its rhetoric connected the withdrawal.

"Ending US engagement successful an endless warfare doesn't extremity the endless war. It conscionable ends our involvement. And I fearfulness that this warfare is going to get worse," helium said.

WAS IT DANGEROUS TO ANNOUNCE A DEADLINE?

The subject had feared putting a day connected the US departure, seeing it arsenic a temptation to the Taliban, emboldened by what they spot arsenic triumph implicit the world's largest and astir technologically-advanced army, to onslaught troops connected the crushed without consequences.

Biden has warned the Taliban against immoderate specified attempt, and NATO has said successful a connection that "any Taliban attacks connected Allied troops during this withdrawal volition beryllium met with a forceful response."

In addition, the allies were cautious to accidental that the withdrawal would statesman connected May 1 -- the day by which it should person been completed nether the Donald Trump administration's statement with the Taliban.

But they besides said it would beryllium completed by September 11, the 20th day of the attacks that prompted the penetration successful the archetypal spot -- and a day already heralded by jihadists groups arsenic a time of triumph implicit the US.

"The chosen withdrawal day plays into the jihadi communicative of a 'crusader occupation' and seems similar an mistake connected the portion of the Biden medication that could person been avoided," the Soufan Center said successful an analysis.

US officials stressed that the deadline was mostly symbolic.

"There's not really a day connected the calendar for erstwhile we tin warrant you the past travel volition beryllium retired ... it volition beryllium nary aboriginal than the 20th day of 9/11, meaning it could be, arsenic I said before, good earlier then," 1 elder medication authoritative stressed.

WHAT ARE THE LOGISTICS OF WITHDRAWAL?

The US subject feared astir of each that it would person to permission Kabul successful a hurry, and find itself successful the aforesaid concern arsenic erstwhile Saigon fell during the Vietnam War successful 1975, immortalized by images of refugees boarding a chopper connected the extortion of an flat gathering adjacent the US embassy.

Some 2,500 US troops, positive 16,000 civilian contractors and their equipment, indispensable beryllium evacuated from the state -- on with immoderate 7,000 NATO soldiers, who beryllium connected the US subject for the transport of troops and equipment.

It is truthful a immense and delicate logistical cognition that indispensable beryllium carried out, and the subject needs astatine slightest 3 months to implicit it successful an orderly and unafraid manner, according to a elder US subject official.

The Pentagon could nonstop reinforcements temporarily, to guarantee the extortion of the forces connected departure, arsenic during the subject withdrawal from Syria started successful January 2019 connected the orders of Donald Trump.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin halfheartedly acknowledged the reluctance of US generals to leave, and by a peculiar deadline.

"I won't talk for them. What I tin archer you is this was an inclusive process, and their voices were heard and their concerns taken into information arsenic the president made his decision," helium said successful Brussels.

WHAT OF US CREDIBILITY?

With the warfare astatine champion a stalemate, and the Taliban successful the ascendancy aft 20 years of fighting, it is casual for them and different enemies of the US to framework this withdrawal arsenic a triumph implicit a satellite superpower -- a information not mislaid connected Biden's governmental opposition, the Republican Party.

Many Republicans person spoken forcefully astir the withdrawal's interaction connected US power and credibility astir the world.

"Withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan by September 11 volition lone embolden the precise jihadists who attacked our homeland connected that time 20 years ago," protested Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney.

"It is simply a retreat successful the look of an force that has not yet been vanquished and abdication of American leadership," Republican Senate person Mitch McConnell said connected the Senate floor.