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Biden says US will deploy total of 5,000 troops in Afghanistan
The United States will deploy a total of 5,000 troops to Afghanistan to ensure the safe evacuation of diplomats from the country, President of the United States Joe Biden said in a statemet released on Saturday by the White House press service.
"First, based on the recommendations of our diplomatic, military, and intelligence teams, I have authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 U.S. troops to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of U.S. personnel and other allied personnel, and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance,"the statement said.
"We have conveyed to the Taliban (outlawed in Russia - TASS) representatives in Doha, via our Combatant Commander, that any action on their part on the ground in Afghanistan, that puts U.S. personnel or our mission at risk there, will be met with a swift and strong U.S. military response,"Biden said.
He added, "I have placed Ambassador Tracey Jacobson in charge of a whole-of-government effort to process, transport, and relocate Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other Afghan allies. Our hearts go out to the brave Afghan men and women who are now at risk. We are working to evacuate thousands of those who helped our cause and their families.".
US forces in Afghanistan will not change the situation
The continued presence of US forces in Afghanistan will not change the situation if the Afghan military cannot hold the country, Biden said.
"Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in U.S. history. One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me," the statement said.
According to the current owner of the White House, the agreement of the previous US administration with the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) left the movement "in the strongest position militarily since 2001.".
Support to the authorities of Afghanistan
Biden instructed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to support the Afghan authorities in their quest for a political settlement in the country, according to a statement released on Saturday by the White House press service.
"I have directed the Secretary of State to support President Ghani and other Afghan leaders as they seek to prevent further bloodshed and pursue a political settlement. Secretary Blinken will also engage with key regional stakeholders," the statement said.
In turn, the press service of the Department of State said that Blinken had a telephone conversation with Ghani on Saturday, the discussed the urgency of ongoing diplomatic and political efforts to reduce the level of violence.
[Source: Tass, Washington, 15Aug21]
War in Afghanistan & Iraq
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