Live update: Biden’s Afghanistan announcement


United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, 14 April. Kenzo Tribular / Pool / AP

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US would “continue to fund key capabilities”, including the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing, and added that the US would continue to pay salaries for the Afghan security forces.

“We want to continue key capabilities such as the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing, and we want to continue paying salaries for the Afghan Army Forces.

Austin said he fully supports President Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan to 11 during remarks at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday.

Austin said, “I would like to thank NATO allies and partners for informing us of their presidential decision to complete their review and withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.” “

When asked about disagreements with the military over a withdrawal, Austin said the process was inclusive and concerns were taken into consideration.

“It was an inclusive process, and his voice was heard and his concerns were taken into consideration when the President gave his decision. But now that the decision has been made, I want them to lead their forces – to lead their forces – through this effort, through this transition, and I know them all very well like That I do, I have every confidence that they will actually lead their force through this effort, ”Austin said.

“We will also work closely with them and our allies to maintain counter-terrorism capabilities in the region so that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for terrorists posing a threat to our security.”

Austin said the US has “fulfilled the mission” in Afghanistan, leading to “economic, civil and political progress” in the country.

“Our soldiers have completed the mission they were sent to Afghanistan to complete,” Austin said. “Their service and their sacrifices, along with our full support and Afghan partners, make possible very little threat to all our homelands from al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”

Austin acknowledged the ongoing violence from the Taliban.

He said, ‘There is still a lot of violence. And we know that the Taliban is still trying to reverse some of this progress, ”Austin said. “That’s why we wholeheartedly support diplomatic efforts that are underway to achieve a negotiated settlement and political settlement that the Afghan people themselves support.”

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