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U.S. troops in Afghanistan begin packing gear in pullout prep

7 Comments
By KATHY GANNON

The U.S. military has begun shipping equipment and winding down contracts with local service providers ahead of the May 1 start of the final phase of its military pullout from Afghanistan, a U.S. Defense Department official said Thursday.

The pullout under U.S. President Joe Biden marks the end of America's longest war after a 20-year military engagement. Currently, some 2,500 U.S. soldiers and about 7,000 allied forces are still in Afghanistan.

In February last year, the U.S. military began closing its smaller bases. In mid-April, the Biden administration announced that the final phase of the withdrawal would begin May 1 and be completed before Sept 11.

Since then, the military has been shipping equipment and winding down local contracts for services such as trash pickup and maintenance work, the U.S. official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with briefing regulations.

While preparations are under way, troops likely won't begin to depart for a few weeks, he said, adding that "we won't see a coming down of the (troop) numbers" until remaining bases close.

There have been indications that the pullout could be completed well before Sept11, which marks the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaida terror attack on the U.S. and the trigger for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, Germany's Defense Ministry said discussions are underway among military planners with the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Kabul for a possible withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan as early as July 4.

In the short term, America will likely increase its troop presence in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said last Friday. The additional troops would be in Afghanistan over the coming weeks and months to help with what the herculean task of wrapping up 20 years of war.

While much of the equipment headed back to the U.S. will be shipped by air, the military will also use land routes through Pakistan and north through Central Asia, the Defense Department official said.

The U.S. equipment that is neither shipped back to America nor given to the Afghan National Security forces will be sold to contractors, who will, in turn, sell it in the local markets.

"You’ll most likely start seeing it eventually showing up in bazaars as scrap,” said the official.

The Taliban, meanwhile, were non-committal when asked by the AP whether the insurgents would attack departing U.S. and NATO troops. “It’s too early for these issues, nothing can be said about the future,” said Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem.

In a deal the Taliban signed last year with former President Donald Trump, the final U.S. withdrawal deadline was set as May 1. Under the agreement, the Taliban promised not to attack U.S. and NATO troops but they also later promised “consequences” if Washington defied the May 1 deadline.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
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Biden doing what Trump lacked the will to do.

Some uninformed people think Congress or the Pentagon can block the president, who is commander in chief of the armed forces, from ordering troop withdrawals. That, however, is absolutely incorrect:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/23/how-barack-obama-simply-waited-too-long-to-close-guantanamo/

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Biden doing what Trump lacked the will to do.

Which President Obama said he would do. He left 9,800 there.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/world/asia/obama-troop-withdrawal-afghanistan.html

President Trump pulled all but 2500 US troops from Afghanistan by Mid-January 2021:

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-donald-trump-afghanistan-taliban-united-states-16cc1dd5b2f74d463311d212ad0d215a

The US should never have sent massive military to Afghanistan. Only SPECOPS and "advisors".

Seems people would be tired of partisan posts by now. Guess not.

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So, we'll be waiting for all the Trump supporters and their NECON-hating brethren to congratulate President Biden on doing what Trump couldn't do....

I imagine we'll be waiting a long time...

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The Afghanistan War was started as retaliation against the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the twin buildings of World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon building in Washington by U.S. President George W. Bush.

Surprisingly, Bush started another war in Iraq while combats against Al-Qaeda were still going on in Afghanistan, saying initially that Iraq was giving a haven for the Al-Qaeda terrorists and later retelling that Hussein of Iraq was secretly stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

The Iraq War or the Second Gulf War ended in two months with Bush proudly declaring that "the mission was accomplished." In the meantime the war in Afghanistan was endlessly continuing.

What a sad world!  Deaths on the part of the Coalition: 3,562, of which U.S. deaths account for 2,437.

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Sadly enough, civilian casualties accounted for more than 100,000.  One must never forget that.

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President Joe Biden is cleaning up one of his predecessors' mess, of course. I hope his decision of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will benefit the people of that country first and foremost.

"America First" policy is not former President Donald Trump's patent. U.S. foreign policy had been dictated by that principle long before Trump verbalized it. It may be time for U.S. policy makers to sincerely reflect what they have done to the world for the past 75 years.

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Afghanistan will be controlled by 50% elected, govt, and 50% women-hating, authoritarian, old men, living 2000 yrs in the past who are willing to kill everyone, except themselves, to retain power. They'd rather kill than allow girls to become educated.

They are fearful of education, because then people would actually read the Quran and see the lies and terrible truths it tells. Like other "Holy" texts, there is a passage for anything anyone might wish to do, provided they are a male, father.

Russia couldn't change it.

The US and coalition can't change it.

Afghanistan will need to route out the old men and put women in power everywhere possible to make the cultural changes. The old men won't allow that.

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