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Biden Authorizes 1,000 More Troops to Help Afghanistan Departure

President Joe Biden authorized on Saturday an additional 1,000 American troops for deployment to Afghanistan, increasing to nearly 5,000 the number of US troops to ensure what Biden called an “orderly and safe drawdown” of American and allied personnel.

According to a White House statement, the plan also covers safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during the US mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance.

“Second, I have ordered our Armed Forces and our Intelligence Community to ensure that we will maintain the capability and the vigilance to address future terrorist threats from Afghanistan,” Biden said.

“Third, 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,” Biden said.

He said that the United States has conveyed to the Taliban representatives in Doha, via US Combatant Commander, that any action on their part on the ground in Afghanistan, that puts US personnel or their mission at risk there, will be met with a swift and strong US military response.

“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,” he said.

Biden said that “one more year, or five more years, of US 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,” he added.

[Source: Tolo News, Kabul, 15Aug21]

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