Taliban fighters have surrounded 17 provincial capitals, the outcome of peace talks in Afghanistan is uncertain, says Mark Milley.
Taliban fighters have gained “strategic momentum” in Afghanistan and now control about half of the campaign as they lead to cutting population centers by the Western-backed government in Kabul, the first U.S. military general said.
“It will be a test now, of the will and direction of the Afghan people, the Afghan security forces and the government of Afghanistan,” President-General Mark Milley told reporter Mark Milley on Wednesday.
The Taliban have taken control of about half of the 419 districts in Afghanistan and “put pressure on the periphery” of 17 of 34 provincial capitals but have not taken control of any of them, the top U.S. general said. .
“What they are trying to do is isolate the main population centers.” They’re trying to do the same thing in Kabul, ”Milley said.
In response, Afghan government forces are “consolidating” their positions to protect population centers and the fight it is expected to grow in the coming weeks after the Eid al-Adha holidays.
A delegation of the Afghan government and Taliban representatives met in Doha over the weekend, but failed to reach an agreement to cease the expected ceasefire. Earn on the battlefield from the armed group have encouraged the Taliban to advance “a narrative” that they are winning, Milley said.
“They’re dominating the waves in this kind of thing,” he added.
President Joe Biden announced that the United States and NATO would withdraw forces no later than September 11, the 20th anniversary of al-Qaeda attacks on the United States that provoked the American invasion and the occupation of Afghanistan. U Withdrawal from the US it happened faster and is now expected to be completed by the end of August.
In exchange for the departure of foreign forces, the Taliban have agreed to hold peace talks with the Western government in Kabul, aimed at achieving a political establishment which can lead to long-term stability for the war-torn country. And the Taliban have agreed to prevent Al-Qaeda or other armed groups from gaining a presence in Afghanistan.
“There is a possibility of a negotiated outcome. It is still out. There is a possibility of a complete Taliban recovery. There is a possibility of a number of other scams – damage, warlords,” Milley said.
Last week, the United States provided three new A-29 Super Tacano light-powered aircraft powered by a propeller to the Afghan Air Force and three newly refurbished UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.
“We do a lot to support the Afghan army and Afghan leadership,” Milley said.
“They will continue to see a steady drum of this kind of support going forward,” he said.
In addition, the United States plans to help renovate the Soviet-era Soviet Air Force’s Mi-17 helicopter fleet, Pentagon officials say.
The U.S. recovery from Afghanistan is nearly 95 percent complete as of now, Milley said, and is on track to be completed by the end of August.
The United States has withdrawn 9,000 civilian and military personnel from Afghanistan and shifted control of all U.S. military operational bases outside of Kabul to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, Milley said.
A contingent of about 650 U.S. troops will remain to protect the U.S. diplomatic presence in Kabul and its international airport. The US asked for it Turkey to begin taking responsibility for security at the airport.
At the same time, “we have raised a node in Qatar that is operational now” that will allow the United States “to be able to make strides over the horizon,” Milley said.
“Make no mistake that we remain committed to helping the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government move forward,” he said.