The US military withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun, just as the Taliban is stepping up bombardments in the region.
President Biden has pushed back the original May deadline set by the Trump administration, aiming instead to withdraw all troops by September 11. About 2,500 US troops are currently operating in the country.
The move received a bipartisan backlash, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Saying it would be a “big mistake” to pull out before securing the Taliban’s defeat.
SULLIVAN PROMISES BIDEN “ NOT TO REMOVE THE EYE OF THE BALL ” WITH AFGHANISTAN, DESPITE GOP CONCERNS
“Leaders on both sides, including myself, were critical when the previous administration pitched the concept of a reckless withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan,” McConnell said, referring to the initial timeline of the Trump administration.
Now the United States has begun the final withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
“I now have a set of orders,” General Austin S. Miller, head of the coalition in Afghanistan, said at a press conference at the US military headquarters in Kabul on Sunday. “We will proceed with an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan and that means the transition of bases and materiel to Afghan security forces.”
The Taliban have continued to operate in the region even as the United States pushes for peace talks: The Home Office reported that the Taliban carried out 62 bombings and six suicide attacks in the last 11 days, killing 63 civilians and injuring 180 others, according to TOLO News, an Afghanistan-based news agency.
BUSH TELL BIDEN WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN RISK HARMFUL WOMEN AND GIRLS BY AUTHORIZING ‘BRUTAL’ TALIBAN
Former President George W. Bush warned last week that the decision to withdraw troops from the country would provide the Taliban with opportunities he hoped the United States would not regret.
“My first reaction was, wow, these girls are going to have real problems with the Taliban,” Bush said. “Much progress has been made and therefore I am deeply concerned for the plight of women and girls in this country.”
He added, “I think the administration is hoping the girls will be okay through diplomacy. We will find out. All I know is the Taliban, when they took over the place they took over. been brutal. “
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Biden argued his withdrawal schedule was based on consulting with experts, Congress and its allies on the world stage.
“I am now the fourth US president to preside over a US troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats,” Biden said. “I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
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