Mark Milley: US coordination with Taliban on strikes ‘potential’ | World News – Times of India

WASHINGTON: Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, mentioned on Wednesday that it is “possible” that the US must coordinate with the Taliban on any future counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan towards Islamic State militants or others.
The Taliban, mentioned Milley, is a “ruthless” group, and “whether or not they change remains to be seen.” He added, “In war you do what you must in order to reduce risk to mission and force, not what you necessarily want to do.”
Speaking two days after the ultimate US troops left Afghanistan on the shut of a turbulent and lethal evacuation of greater than 124,000 American residents, Afghans and others, Milley and defence secretary Lloyd Austin instructed Pentagon reporters that it is laborious to foretell the long run of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
“I would not make any leaps of logic to broader issues,” mentioned Austin.
Both males commanded troops in Afghanistan through the 20-yr struggle and their feedback on Wednesday largely centered on tributes to those that served, who died and who had been wounded within the battle and to those that executed the advanced airlift over the previous three weeks.
With the US involvement within the struggle over and all American army out of the nation, President Joe Biden is grappling with the prospects of a brand new relationship with the Taliban, the Islamist militant group the US toppled after the September 11, 2001, assaults in America, and that’s now as soon as once more in energy in Afghanistan.
Biden has tasked secretary of state Antony Blinken with coordinating with worldwide companions to carry the Taliban to their promise of protected passage for Americans and others who wish to depart within the days forward.
Marine General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, has described the US relationship with the Taliban through the evacuation as “very pragmatic and very businesslike,” saying they helped safe the airport. But different stories from folks in Afghanistan describe shootings, violence and Taliban strikes to dam determined Afghans from getting by way of the gates.
Biden in an deal with to the nation on Tuesday referred to as the US airlift an “extraordinary success,” although greater than 100 Americans and hundreds of others had been left behind. And he vigorously defended his resolution to finish America’s longest struggle and withdraw all US troops by an August 31 deadline.
“I was not going to extend this forever war,” Biden declared from the White House. “And I was not going to extend a forever exit.”
Biden has confronted powerful questions on the way in which the US went about leaving Afghanistan, a chaotic evacuation with spasms of violence, together with a suicide bombing final week that killed 13 American service members and 169 Afghans.
He is coming below heavy criticism, significantly from Republicans, for his dealing with of the evacuation. But he mentioned it was inevitable that the ultimate departure from 20 years of struggle, first negotiated with the Taliban for May 1 by former President Donald Trump, would have been troublesome, with possible violence, regardless of when it was deliberate and carried out.
“To those asking for a third decade of war in Afghanistan, I ask, ‘What is the vital national interest?’ Biden said. He added, “I merely don’t imagine that the security and safety of America is enhanced by persevering with to deploy hundreds of American troops and spending billions of {dollars} in Afghanistan.”
A number of Republicans – and some Democrats – have contended that the US would have been better served maintaining a small military footprint in Afghanistan. Before last week’s suicide attack, the US military had not suffered a combat casualty since February 2020 – around the time the Trump administration brokered its deal with the Taliban to end the war by May of this year.
Biden said breaking the Trump deal would have restarted a shooting war. He said those who favor remaining at war also fail to recognize the weight of deployment, with a scourge of PTSD, financial struggles, divorce and other problems for US troops.
And Biden also pushed back against criticism that he fell short of his pledge to get all Americans out of the country ahead of the US military withdrawal. He said many of the Americans left behind are dual citizens, some with deep family roots that are complicating their ability to leave Afghanistan.
Biden repeated his argument that ending the Afghanistan war was a crucial step for recalibrating American foreign policy toward growing challenges posed by China and Russia – and counterterrorism concerns that pose a more potent threat to the US.
In Biden’s view the war could have ended 10 years ago with the US killing of Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida extremist network planned and executed the 9/11 plot from an Afghanistan sanctuary. Al-Qaida has been vastly diminished, preventing it thus far from again attacking the United States. The president lamented an estimated $2 trillion of taxpayer money that was spent fighting the war.
Congressional committees, whose interest in the war waned over the years, are expected to hold public hearings on what went wrong in the final months of the US withdrawal.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Tuesday described the Biden administration’s handling of the evacuation as “in all probability the largest failure in American authorities on a army stage in my lifetime” and promised that Republicans would press the White House for solutions.

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