Editorial: Show of strength

The US will likely increase its troop presence in Afghanistan temporarily over the coming weeks and months in order to fulfill President Joe Biden’s order to safely withdraw all forces from the country by 11 September, the Pentagon said.

Pentagon chief spokesman John Kirby declined to provide specifics and said details are still being worked out.

He said, “it’s logical to assume that you may need some logistics help, maybe some engineering help, you may have to add some force protection capabilities — again temporarily — just to make sure that the drawdown goes in a safe, orderly and effective way.”

Biden announced Wednesday that the US would pull all of its more than 2,500 troops out of Afghanistan by 11 September — the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaida terror attack on the US that had triggered the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

NATO announced it would follow the same timetable for withdrawing more than 7,000 allied forces. The President’s decision defies a 1 May withdrawal deadline that was agreed to by the Trump administration as part of a peace agreement with the Taliban. Instead, Biden said that the US withdrawal would begin on 1 May. Peace matters.

 

NT Bureau