• publish: 3 December 2020
  • time: 10:15 am
  • category: Politics
  • No: 16155

After drawdown, US to keep two larger military bases in Afghanistan

The Pentagon has approved drawdown plans in Afghanistan but will still keep two large military bases in the country, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event hosted by Brookings Institution think tank, Milley said that in addition to the two bases, the US would also keep “several satellite bases.”

This was the first time a Pentagon or White House official has offered any details following outgoing US President Donald Trump’s sudden announcement last month of another major drawdown of troops – from around 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January.

This decision also left many NATO allies questioning the future of the mission in Afghanistan without US assistance.

Milley meanwhile said on Wednesday that the US military will also continue its two core missions – assisting Afghan security forces who are locked in conflict with Taliban insurgents and carrying out counterterrorism operations against IS-K (Daesh) and al-Qaeda.

However, Milley did not say which bases in Afghanistan would be shut down nor which bases would remain.

He also declined to speculate about what President-elect Joe Biden may decide. “What comes after that, that will be up to a new administration,” he said.

Milley also said the United States had “achieved a modicum of success” in Afghanistan.

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