NATIONAL NEWS

Top US General Says Security In Afghanistan Deteriorating

Jun 29, 2021, 9:27 AM
FILE: A U.S. Army helicopter flies from Camp Shorab to Camp Bost on Sept. 11, 2017, in Helmand Prov...
FILE: A U.S. Army helicopter flies from Camp Shorab to Camp Bost on Sept. 11, 2017, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S.’s top general in Afghanistan on Tuesday gave a sobering assessment of the country’s deteriorating security situation as America winds down its so-called “forever war.”

Gen. Austin S. Miller said the rapid loss of districts around the country to the Taliban — several with significant strategic value — is worrisome. He also cautioned that the militias deployed to help the beleaguered national security forces could lead the country into civil war.

Miller told a small group of reporters in the Afghan capital that for now he has the weapons and the capability to aid Afghanistan’s National Defense and Security Forces.

“What I don’t want to do is speculate what that (support) looks like in the future,” he said.

Washington signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February 2020. It laid out the promise of a U.S. withdrawal and commitments by the Taliban to ensure Afghanistan does not harbor terrorists that can attack the United States. The details of those commitments have never been made public.

The Taliban have accused Washington of breaking the agreement, which called for all troops to be out by May 1, the date the final withdrawal began. U.S. officials have said the Taliban have made some progress, but it’s not clear whether the insurgent group has kept its end of the deal.

The insurgent group issued orders against allowing foreign fighters among their ranks, but evidence continues to surface that non-Afghans are on the battlefield.

Still, Miller was insistent that only a political solution will bring peace to the war-tortured nation.

“It is a political settlement that brings peace to Afghanistan. And it’s not just the last 20 years. It’s really the last 42 years,” he said.

Miller was referring to not only the U.S. war but that of Russia’s 10-year occupation that ended in 1989. That conflict was followed by a brutal civil war fought by some of the same Afghan leaders deploying militias against the Taliban. The civil war gave rise to the Taliban who took power in 1996.

American officials have said the entire pullout of U.S. troops will most likely be completely finished by July 4. But Miller refused to give any date or time frame, referring only to the Sept. 11 timeline given by President Joe Biden in April when he announced the final withdrawal of the remaining 2,500-3,500 American troops.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have been over-running districts in rapid succession, many of them in the north of the country, which is dominated by Afghanistan’s minorities. The north is also the traditional stronghold of many former mujahedeen leaders who have been a dominant force in Afghanistan since driving the Taliban from power in 2001 together with the U.S.-led coalition.

Several of the districts have been on key roads and one on the border with northern Tajikistan. The Taliban have issued statements saying hundreds of Afghan security forces have surrendered, most of them going to their homes after being recorded on video receiving transportation money from the Taliban.

Miller said there are multiple reasons for the collapse of these districts, including troop fatigue and surrender, psychological defeat and military defeat. But he said the escalating violence puts the country at risk of falling into a deadly civil war.

Going forward, the Afghan defense forces must focus on consolidating their strengths and establishing strategic areas and protecting them, Miller said. Losing districts to the Taliban that allows them to sever transportation and communication links threatens provincial capitals.

“As we start talking about how does this all end, the way it must end for the Afghan people is something that revolves around a political solution,” he said. “I’ve also said that if you don’t reduce the violence, that political solution becomes more and more difficult.”

Miller refused to say where the U.S. and its NATO allies were in the withdrawal process.

He said his time as the head of the U.S.’s military mission in Afghanistan was coming to an end, without giving a date, though the press briefing had a feeling of a farewell.

Miller wouldn’t speculate on the legacy of America’s longest war, saying it will be for history to decide.

“The future will tell the rest of the story,” he said. “What we will have to do is make an honest assessment of what went well and what didn’t go so well over the years as we work forward.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

FILE: Carlos Santana performs onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icon...
Associated Press

Rocker Carlos Santana ‘doing well’ after collapsing onstage

Guitar icon Carlos Santana collapsed on stage during a show in Michigan and was rushed to a hospital, later blaming the episode on forgetting to eat or drink water.
8 hours ago
FILE: Pro-Trump supporters storm the US Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Ja...
Associated Press

Judges keeping Capitol riot trials in DC amid bias claims

More Capitol riot defendants are pushing to get their trials moved out of Washington, D.C. The defendants claim they can't get a fair trial before unbiased jurors in Washington.
8 hours ago
Hours after gunfire interrupted the Highland Park, Illinois, July Fourth parade, killing six people...
Dakin Andone, Steve Almasy and Curt Devine, CNN

What we know about the Highland Park shooting suspect

Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo III, 21, faces seven charges of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.
1 day ago
FILE IMAGE - Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury durring pregame warmups at Footprint Center...
DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer

White House: Biden has read Griner letter pleading for help

Brittney Griner’s appeal to President Joe Biden in a handwritten letter continued to garner reaction Tuesday after the WNBA All-Star acknowledged she feared never returning home and asked Biden not “forget about me and the other American Detainees.”
1 day ago
HIGHLAND PARK, IL - JULY 05: Law enforcement work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parad...
Amir Vera, Jason Hanna, Adrienne Broaddus and Helen Regan, CNN

Highland Park parade shooting suspect charged with 7 counts of murder, state’s attorney says

The suspect in Monday's mass shooting at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois, that left seven dead and injured more than two dozen has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
1 day ago
An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overtu...
Sara Murray and Jason Morris, CNN

Graham, Giuliani, Eastman and other Trump advisers subpoenaed in Georgia election probe

An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia has subpoenaed a handful of key Trump allies, including his former attorney and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Top US General Says Security In Afghanistan Deteriorating