WASHINGTON: (Monitoring Desk) According to Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, the US military’s exit from Afghanistan could be slowed as a result of Taliban successes. President Joe Biden’s target of a full withdrawal by September remains in force, according to Kirby, although the pace might be altered depending on circumstances.
The situation in Afghanistan is changing as the Taliban continue to carry out strikes and target district centres, as well as the ongoing conflict, he told reporters. We want to keep the ability to make changes to the pace, breadth, and intensity of the retrograde on any given day or week, he said.
Every day, we check in to see what the condition is on the field, what abilities we have, and what more assets we need to get out of Afghanistan and at what speed. Every single one of these judgments is being made in real time, he added.
According to Pentagon sources, the departure, which was ordered by Biden in April after nearly two decades of fighting Al-Qaeda and assisting government forces in their war against the Taliban, is about half done. Around 2,500 US troops and 16,000 civilians, largely US residents, were in the nation at the time of Biden’s decision. Several of the Pentagon’s main bases have already been turned over to government security personnel, and hundreds of cargo plane loads of equipment have been withdrawn. Kirby stated that US forces are still assisting Afghan soldiers in their fight against the Taliban.
We will continue to support Afghan forces as much as we have the ability in Afghanistan, he said. However, as the retrograde nears completion, such capabilities will weaken and become unavailable.