Mark Milli said that Taliban militants surrounded 17 provincial capitals, and the outcome of the peace talks in Afghanistan is still uncertain.
The top US military general said that the Taliban fighters gained “strategic momentum” in Afghanistan, and they now control about half of the countryside because they drove to Kabul to cut off the population center by a government supported by the West.
“This will be a test of the will and leadership of the Afghan people, the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
The senior American general said that the Taliban already controls about half of Afghanistan’s 419 regions and is applying pressure on 17 of the 34 provincial capitals, but has not yet controlled any of them.
“What they are trying to do is to isolate the main population centers. They are trying to do the same with Kabul,” Milli said.
In response, the Afghan government forces are “consolidating” their positions to protect population centers and struggle It is expected to upgrade in the coming weeks after the Eid al-Adha holiday.
The Afghan government delegation and Taliban representatives met in Doha over the weekend but failed to reach the expected ceasefire agreement. Battlefield gain Milli said that the actions of the armed groups have inspired the Taliban, and the Taliban are advancing the “narrative” that they are winning.
“They dominate the airwaves in these kinds of things,” he added.
President Joe Biden announced that the United States and NATO will withdraw their troops no later than September 11, the 20th anniversary of Al-Qaida’s attack on the United States and prompting the United States’ invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.This U.S. withdrawal It happened faster and is now expected to be completed by the end of August.
In exchange for the withdrawal of foreign forces, the Taliban agreed to hold peace talks with the Kabul government supported by the West, aiming to achieve Political settlement This can bring long-term stability to this war-torn country. The Taliban agreed to prevent the presence of Al Qaeda or other armed groups in Afghanistan.
“It is possible to reach a result through negotiation. That is still there. It is possible to be completely taken over by the Taliban. There may be any number of other smells-malfunctions, warlordism,” Milli said.
Last week, the United States provided the Afghan Air Force with three new propeller-driven A-29 Super Takano light attack aircraft and three newly refurbished UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
“We are doing a lot to support the Afghan army and Afghan leaders,” Milli said.
“They will continue to see this steady drumbeat of support,” he said.
In addition, Pentagon officials stated that the United States plans to help refurbish the Afghan Air Force’s Mi-17 Soviet-era helicopter fleet.
Milli said that as of now, nearly 95% of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has been completed and is expected to be completed by the end of August.
Milli said that the United States has withdrawn 9,000 civilian and military personnel from Afghanistan and transferred control of all U.S. military bases outside of Kabul to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.
A contingent of approximately 650 U.S. troops will continue to protect the U.S. diplomatic presence in Kabul and its international airport.U.S. has requested Turkey Began to take over the security responsibilities of the airport.
At the same time, “we have established a node in Qatar and it is now operational”, which will enable the United States to “perform beyond visual range strikes,” Milli said.
“There is no doubt that we will continue to work to help the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government move forward,” he said.