US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

Biden authorises deployment of 1,000 additional US troops in Afghanistan

ANI | Updated: Aug 15, 2021 04:19 IST


Washington [US], August 15 (ANI): US President Joe Biden on Saturday authorised the deployment of additional 1,000 troops in Afghanistan, raising the number of American troops in the war-torn country to 5,000 to ensure a safe and orderly drawdown of personnel. 

The US President, in a statement, announced that he has authorised the deployment of approximately 5,000 US troops to make sure "we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance". 

Later, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby issued a breakdown of troops deployment saying that there were already 1,000 US troops in Kabul, while last week Biden administration ordered the deployment of 3000. Now, US President Biden accepted Defence Secretary Lylod Austin recommendation to move in the lead battalion of the 82nd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, adding another 1,000, Kirby explained. 

"Today POTUS announced he had authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 troops to Afghanistan to ensure a safe and orderly drawdown of US personnel. Here's a breakdown of what that looks like...," Kirby tweeted. 

"There was already 1,000 troops in Kabul; we ordered 3,000 in last week, and the President accepted @SecDef recommendation today to move in the lead battalion of the 82nd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, adding another 1,000," he added. 

Biden remarks come as the Taliban is inching closer to the capital city of Kabul after taking control of key provincial capitals.

Underlining that he will not "pass" the Afghan war to another US leader, President Joe said he had been in close contact with the US national security team to give them direction on how to protect US "interests and values as we end our military mission in Afghanistan".

He said that he has conveyed to the Taliban representatives in Doha that any action on their part on the ground in Afghanistan, that "puts US personnel or our mission at risk there, will be met with a swift and strong US military response".

Justifying the withdrawal of Afghan forces that led to an escalation of violence in the war-torn country, Biden said: "I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth."

Biden informed that he has urged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to support President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan leaders as they seek to prevent further bloodshed and pursue a political settlement.

"First, based on the recommendations of our diplomatic, military, and intelligence teams, I have authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 US troops to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance," the statement read.

The President said he has placed American diplomat Tracey Jacobson in charge of a whole of a government effort to process, transport, and relocate Afghan special immigrant visa applicants and other Afghan allies.

"Our hearts go out to the brave Afghan men and women who are now at risk. We are working to evacuate thousands of those who helped our cause and their families," he said. 

The statement comes after the Taliban wrested control of the fourth largest city of Afghanistan, Mazar-i-Sharif.

With the seizure of Mazar-i-Sharif, the terrorists appeared to be on the verge of a complete takeover of the country.

The terrorists now effectively control the southern, western and northern regions of the country — just about encircling the country’s capital, Kabul, as they press on in their rapid military offensive.

The Taliban blitz began in May, but the terrorists have managed to seize more than half of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals in just over a week.

The Taliban seized Mazar-i-Sharif, the last northern holdout city, barely an hour after breaking through the front lines at the city’s edge.

The loss of the north — once the heart of resistance to the insurgents’ rise to power in 1996 — to the Taliban offered a devastating blow to morale for a country gripped with panic.

By Saturday night, 20 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals were in the hands of the Taliban, including Mazar-i-Sharif, the government’s economic engine in the north.

The Taliban seized Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, on Friday morning, just hours after capturing Herat, a cultural hub in the west, and Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city. They have toppled city after city with stunning velocity this week, leaving just two major urban centres, including Kabul, the capital, in the government’s hands. (ANI)

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