General Miller stressed that throughout the withdrawal, they would have the means necessary for self-defense.
The commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, US Army General Scott Miller, said on Sunday that the orderly withdrawal of foreign troops and the transfer of military bases and equipment to Afghan forces had begun.
Miller said he was acting under orders based on US President Joe Biden’s decision to end the longest war in American history. The President has concluded that the protracted war in Afghanistan is no longer in line with American priorities.
Biden said earlier this month that he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan by September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the militant attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that started the war in Afghanistan.
Miller, who has commanded US forces and the NATO mission in Afghanistan since 2018, said the foreign forces would have “the military means and capabilities to fully defend themselves while returning home and will support the Afghan security forces.”
“I had the opportunity to talk to members of the Taliban from the Taliban Political Commission, and I told them that a return to violence, an attempt to impose a military solution, would be a tragedy for Afghanistan and the Afghan people,” Miller told reporters in Kabul.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when US-led forces overthrew it. Since then, they have waged an insurgency and now control vast territories.
Security experts have recently expressed doubts that the Taliban will allow American troops to leave the country peacefully.
Under an agreement made with the Taliban in 2020, the withdrawal of foreign troops was to begin on May 1.
“As we reduce American forces to zero, we will transfer military bases primarily to the Afghan Ministry of Defense and other Afghan forces, “Miller said, noting that the Taliban has committed to breaking off relations with the Islamist extremist group Al – Qaeda.
The cover-up of Al-Qaeda by the Taliban government was the main reason for the US invasion of Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks in September 2001. A UN report released in January claimed that there are up to 500 Al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and that the Taliban maintains close relations with them. The Taliban denies the presence of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.