KABUL: loyd Austin, US Department of Defense Secretary, and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have said their estimation of a possible reconstitution of Taliban to have “medium” level risk.
In the US Senate Appropriations Committee’s released testimonies this Wednesday, Austin said such reconstitution would take “possibly two years.”
Milley, the highest-ranking US military officer, emphasized that the recent Taliban activities have caused concerns; however, not enough to warrant US action as a response.
He said, “There’s 81 district centers that are currently, we think, are underneath Taliban control. That’s out of 419 district centers. There’s no provincial capital that is underneath Taliban control, and there’s 34 of those.”
Milley acknowledged the risks of the rapid increase in Taliban’s activities, saying, “Taliban are sniping at and picking off outposts, etc., and they have seized some district centers. Sixty percent of the 81 were seized last year, and the others since the last two months or so.”
However, he emphasized the responsibility of Afghan government forces. He said, “We’re concerned, we’re watching it, but there’s a 300,000, plus or minus, military force, Afghanistan army, and police force, and it is their job to defend their country.”
Meanwhile, the White House’s spokesperson, Jen Psaki, claimed US troops would have faced “elevated attacks” if the US was not pulling out.
Last week, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai called the US’s hasty withdrawal to be “a disgrace” and claimed the US mission in Afghanistan has failed.
With rising militant confrontations all over the Afghan territory, concerns of a potential state failure are regularly voiced among Afghans.