Operation in Afghanistan completed, US defense secretary focused on withdrawing troops
Washington, Jun 11 (PTI) US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US operation in Afghanistan is complete and his department is focusing on “getting its people and equipment out of the country”.
US President Joe Biden announced in April that all US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year.
During a hearing on the budget proposal, Austin told Parliament’s Armed Services Committee that the US had pulled a lot of its equipment from Afghanistan. “We are doing a lot of things right now. Intelligence, surveillance and military survey missions are being sent from the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), many of our warplane operations are being conducted from the Gulf.
The Defense Secretary said that the process of withdrawing all American troops will continue until September 11 to withdraw them.
“The President clearly believes that our campaign in Afghanistan is complete,” Austin said. We are focusing on getting our people and equipment out. Further our efforts against terrorism will be focused on those extremists who can attack our country.
In response to a question, he said that the US wants to maintain a good and meaningful relationship with the people of Afghanistan even after the withdrawal of troops. “We will ensure that we continue to provide funding to his army and continue to support his government as well,” he said. This support is also important from the point of view that the government is able to function and the military’s influence remains intact. Our campaign against terrorism is focused on al-Qaeda and we are confident that we will have the authority to continue the campaign.”
Biden has requested $3.3 billion to fund the Afghan Security Forces in his annual budget proposal.
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