By LOLITA C. BALDOR and ROBERT BURNS, Related Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin, in his first information convention as Pentagon chief, stated Friday that progress towards peace in Afghanistan and an finish to U.S. army involvement there is dependent upon the Taliban lowering assaults.
“The violence should lower now,” he instructed reporters.
Austin, a retired four-star Military common who oversaw U.S. forces in Afghanistan and throughout the Mideast for 3 years through the Obama administration, stated the Biden administration is “methodically and intentionally” assessing its subsequent steps in Afghanistan, the place U.S. troops have been current for practically 20 years.
The U.S. has about 2,500 troops there, and Austin stated there could be no “hasty” withdrawal.
Beneath a take care of the Taliban struck by the Trump administration one 12 months in the past this month, the USA promised a phased withdrawal of troops, in order that by Might 1, 2021, all overseas troops could be gone. For its half, the Taliban dedicated to beginning peace talks with the Afghan authorities, ending assaults on American forces, and publicly renouncing all ties to al-Qaida and different extremist teams.
Austin urged the Taliban aren’t assembly their commitments.
In remarks earlier Friday to a digital assembly of the Munich Safety Convention, President Joe Biden gave no indication of his plan for troop ranges in Afghanistan. He pledged to assist the peace course of and to make sure that Afghanistan doesn’t revert to being a launching pad for worldwide terrorist assaults.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in remarks following Biden’s handle, stated her authorities is prepared to maintain troops in Afghanistan longer if wanted to make sure that the nation doesn’t descend into chaos.
“Withdrawal should not imply that the mistaken forces get the higher hand once more,” she stated.
The U.S. allies in NATO now have extra troops in Afghanistan than does the USA, and they’re awaiting Washington’s choice on whether or not to stay to the Might 1 deadline. NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg stated Thursday the allies are holding out hope for a “re-energized” peace course of that would result in a cease-fire as a step towards a last political settlement. In need of that, the alternatives for the U.S. and NATO are tough.
“We’re confronted with very laborious and tough dilemmas,” Stoltenberg instructed reporters after Austin and his fellow NATO protection ministers consulted by video teleconference. “As a result of, if we keep past Might 1, we threat extra violence, we threat extra assaults towards our personal troops, and we threat, in fact, additionally to be a part of a continued presence in Afghanistan that will likely be tough. However, if we depart, then we additionally threat that the positive factors we’ve made are misplaced and that Afghanistan once more may change into a protected haven for worldwide terrorists.”
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