The Biden administration is preparing yet another, more diverse, package of military support possibly totaling $750 million to be announced in the coming days, a senior U.S. defense official said Tuesday.
President Biden said Monday that he stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan even though the Afghan government’s collapse was quicker than anticipated.
With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States is sending in an additional 3,000 troops to help evacuate some personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, officials said Thursday.
The announcement comes on the heels of President Biden’s decision to withdraw fully from Afghanistan nearly 20 years after the U.S. launched that war in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Although bin Laden eventually was killed and his al-Qaida network blunted as an international threat, Afghans are still caught in a cycle of violence and misrule with no end in sight.
Regarded by former colleagues as equally smart and combative, patriotic and politically cunning, Rumsfeld had a storied career in government under four presidents and nearly a quarter century in corporate America.
In addition, several hundred additional American forces will remain at the Kabul airport, potentially until September, to assist Turkish troops providing security.
As early as this week, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East will give a range of military options for securing the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan and providing counterterrorism support from outside the country once the withdrawal is complete.
The report, mandated as part of a pandemic relief package signed last year by then-President Trump, emerges as what was once seen as a fringe conspiracy theory becomes more mainstream.
In memos to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, they said the shift could decrease the number of prosecutions, delay cases and potentially provide less help for victims.
Removing all of the troops and their equipment in the next three weeks — along with coalition partners who can’t get out on their own — would be difficult logistically.
Afghanistan presents one of the new administration’s tougher and more urgent decisions.
President Biden is expected to win approval for others on his national security team in coming days, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state.
The president said Thursday that troop levels in Afghanistan had reached a 19-year low, although he did not mention a troop number.
The plan will accelerate troop withdrawals in Trump’s final days in office, despite arguments from senior military officials in favor of a slower, more methodical pullout.