WASHINGTON: High US envoy Antony Blinken on Sunday mentioned that the specter of terror has “moved elsewhere” from Afghanistan, subsequently, the choice of the US to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is true.
He added that as a substitute of staying in Afghanistan, Washington wanted to refocus sources on challenges comparable to China and the pandemic.
President Joe Biden introduced final week that america would withdraw all forces from the nation earlier than this 12 months´s 20th anniversary of the September 11 assaults.
The unconditional withdrawal — 4 months later than a deadline agreed with the Taliban final 12 months — comes regardless of a impasse in peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan authorities.
CIA head William Burns and US generals together with the previous armed forces chief David Petraeus have argued that the transfer might plunge the nation deeper into violence and depart America extra susceptible to terrorist threats.
“The terrorism risk has moved to different locations. And we have now different crucial objects on our agenda, together with the connection with China, together with coping with all the things from local weather change to Covid,” Blinken advised ABC´s “This Week.”
“And that´s the place we have now to focus our vitality and sources.”
Blinken met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in addition to senior US officers in Kabul final week and briefed them on Biden´s announcement Wednesday that he was ending “the without end conflict,” which started in response to the 2001 September 11 assaults.
Blinken advised ABC america had “achieved the targets that we got down to obtain.”
“Al-Qaeda has been considerably degraded. Its capability to conduct an assault in opposition to america now from Afghanistan will not be there,” he mentioned.
The Pentagon has round 2,500 troops in Afghanistan from a excessive of over 100,000. Hundreds extra function a part of a 9,600-strong NATO drive, which is able to withdraw on the identical time.
The delay in withdrawal — even by simply over 4 months — has angered the Taliban, who’ve threatened to renew hostilities in opposition to US forces.
Blinken mentioned, nonetheless, that Washington would be capable to see any transfer by the Taliban “in actual time” and take motion.
“So if they begin one thing up once more, they´re going to be in a protracted conflict that´s not of their curiosity both,” Blinken mentioned.
Nationwide Safety Advisor Jake Sullivan mentioned america would search to maintain a diplomatic presence with “a safety element” after the withdrawal.
“Our intelligence neighborhood made clear this week in public testimony that we are going to have months of warning earlier than Al-Qaeda or (the Islamic State group) might have an exterior plotting functionality from Afghanistan,” Sullivan advised “Fox Information Sunday.”
“So we’re not going to take our eye off the ball.”