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CENTCOM Head Says US Will Not Support Afghan Forces With Air Strikes After Troop Withdrawl.

Kingslayerr

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CENTCOM Head Says US Will Not Support Afghan Forces with Airstrikes After Troop Withdrawal
By Carla Babb
June 14, 2021 05:16 AM
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, center, top U.S. commander for the Middle East, makes an…
FILE - Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie (center) makes an unannounced visit in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2020.
The United States is not planning to support Afghan forces with air strikes after the U.S. troops withdrawal is complete, and counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan will be limited to instances when attack plans have been discovered to strike the U.S. homeland or the homelands of our allies, according to the top U.S. commander in the Middle East.

“That would be the reason for any strikes that we do in Afghanistan after we leave, (it) would have to be that we’ve uncovered someone who wants to attack the homeland of the United States, one of our allies and partners,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told VOA in an exclusive interview as he traveled toward the region aboard a U.S. military plane.

The general’s comments appear to refute a report by the New York Times that said the Pentagon is considering seeking authorization to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan security forces if Kabul or another major city is in danger of falling to the Taliban.

McKenzie’s candid description of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after its withdrawal coincides with a narrowing counter-terror offensive against Islamic State and al-Qaida as the Pentagon prioritizes competition with China and Russia. The general said his force size in the Middle East was now “closer to 40,000,” a significant reduction from 18 months ago, when that number was between 60,000-80,000 troops.

FILE - Marine General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, speaks with U.S. troops while visiting Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2019.
Marine General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, speaks with U.S. troops while visiting Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2019.


Since President Joe Biden took office, he has ordered the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and cut U.S. military support for the Saudi-led offensive against Iranian-back Houthi rebels in Yemen, all while the Pentagon has moved ships, weapons systems and troops out of other Middle East nations.

McKenzie says the withdrawal from Afghanistan is a major event that has strained resources, not only across his command, but also across the U.S. Transportation Command, which helps shuttle U.S. military people and equipment to various locations across the globe.

Those resources will continue to be strained, he tells VOA, as U.S. aircraft will fly from bases thousands of kilometers away in order to gather intelligence and surveillance and “keep the pressure up” on terrorists in Afghanistan.

“It’s a long haul to get forces, aircraft into Afghanistan from over the horizon. We’ve said all along this is a very difficult thing to do. It’s not an impossible thing to do, and we’re working that right now,” McKenzie said.

Plans ‘well advanced’

Experts and former commanders have raised concerns about the lack of details that have been associated with securing Afghanistan after the withdrawal.

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2018, file photo, U.S. Marines watch during the change of command ceremony at Task Force Southwest…
U.S. Marines watch during a change of command ceremony at Task Force Southwest military field, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2018. The final phase of ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan began May 1, 2021.
“The plans are very well advanced,” McKenzie said, deferring to the Defense Department to release further information.

Ret. Gen Joseph Votel, the former commander of CENTCOM, told VOA he has hoped to see a “more comprehensive plan for what this withdrawal would look like” in order to leave the government of Afghanistan and the Afghan forces “on the very best footing that we could.”

He pointed to the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq as a “much more deliberate approach” that left behind a large embassy and left a security cooperation element of special forces on the ground.

“Those are the kinds of things that that I would be expecting to see. I think the challenge with this right now is we’re just not seeing a lot of details,” Votel added.

According to McKenzie, the U.S. will help the Afghan air force, one of the country’s biggest advantages against the Taliban, maintain its aircraft through a combination of virtual advising from afar and flying parts in and out of the country. The method will undoubtedly slow the maintenance process, which could leave Afghan forces with limited air support.

“Risk will be greater, significantly greater,” McKenzie acknowledged.

There is also a complete plan to evacuate Afghans who helped the United States, should the need arise, although the size, scope and timing of the operation would come from the Department of State, he said.

Turkey in the spotlight

One post-withdrawal plan that does not appear to be finalized is how the Kabul airport will be secured. The airport serves both civilian and military aircraft.

Several hundred troops from NATO ally Turkey have been defending the airport, but it is unclear whether they will remain once NATO withdrawals, stoking fear that diplomats will not be able to safely enter and exit Afghanistan.

McKenzie said the U.S. military was still “in consultation with Turkish partners about the issue.” Biden is expected to meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels on Monday to discuss the airport security dilemma.

Reports have said Erdogan is looking for concessions in exchange for securing the airport, including an agreement from the U.S. that allows Ankara to keep and operate its Russian S-400 air defense system. The U.S. opposes Turkey’s acquisition and use of a Russian system alongside NATO weapons like the F-35 fight jet.

Another major concern is how well the U.S. will be able to uncover terrorists plots in Afghanistan, the very plots its military is supposed to be preventing through airstrikes, without a military presence in the country.

Bradley Bowman, a defense expert with the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, criticized the pullout for reducing the United States’ capability to monitor and deter the approximately 20 terror groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

“Just because we leave and we say it’s over, it’s not over,” Bowman said. “The Taliban is interested, and al-Qaida’s interested in forever jihad, and they’re going to keep fighting.”
 
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Well, that just confirms it that the Afghan Government will have to survive on its own... if it can.

Can't believe it, US military Generals 20-years on still have to make "unannounced" visits like cowards.
 

Taimoor Khan

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That sums it up. No bases means no support for Kabul regime. There will be no cowboy, yeeehaaing from middle east bases either, barging into Afghanistan neighbours airspace to support Kabul regime.
 
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McKenzie said the U.S. military was still “in consultation with Turkish partners about the issue.” Biden is expected to meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels on Monday to discuss the airport security dilemma.

Reports have said Erdogan is looking for concessions in exchange for securing the airport, including an agreement from the U.S. that allows Ankara to keep and operate its Russian S-400 air defense system. The U.S. opposes Turkey’s acquisition and use of a Russian system alongside NATO weapons like the F-35 fight jet.
Tell you how cunning Erdogan is. He is trying to extract a deal with USA. Soldiers for S-100 and F-35 fighters.
 

waz

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CENTCOM Head Says US Will Not Support Afghan Forces with Airstrikes After Troop Withdrawal
By Carla Babb
June 14, 2021 05:16 AM
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, center, top U.S. commander for the Middle East, makes an…
FILE - Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie (center) makes an unannounced visit in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2020.
The United States is not planning to support Afghan forces with air strikes after the U.S. troops withdrawal is complete, and counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan will be limited to instances when attack plans have been discovered to strike the U.S. homeland or the homelands of our allies, according to the top U.S. commander in the Middle East.

“That would be the reason for any strikes that we do in Afghanistan after we leave, (it) would have to be that we’ve uncovered someone who wants to attack the homeland of the United States, one of our allies and partners,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told VOA in an exclusive interview as he traveled toward the region aboard a U.S. military plane.

The general’s comments appear to refute a report by the New York Times that said the Pentagon is considering seeking authorization to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan security forces if Kabul or another major city is in danger of falling to the Taliban.

McKenzie’s candid description of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after its withdrawal coincides with a narrowing counter-terror offensive against Islamic State and al-Qaida as the Pentagon prioritizes competition with China and Russia. The general said his force size in the Middle East was now “closer to 40,000,” a significant reduction from 18 months ago, when that number was between 60,000-80,000 troops.

FILE - Marine General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, speaks with U.S. troops while visiting Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2019.
Marine General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, speaks with U.S. troops while visiting Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2019.


Since President Joe Biden took office, he has ordered the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and cut U.S. military support for the Saudi-led offensive against Iranian-back Houthi rebels in Yemen, all while the Pentagon has moved ships, weapons systems and troops out of other Middle East nations.

McKenzie says the withdrawal from Afghanistan is a major event that has strained resources, not only across his command, but also across the U.S. Transportation Command, which helps shuttle U.S. military people and equipment to various locations across the globe.

Those resources will continue to be strained, he tells VOA, as U.S. aircraft will fly from bases thousands of kilometers away in order to gather intelligence and surveillance and “keep the pressure up” on terrorists in Afghanistan.

“It’s a long haul to get forces, aircraft into Afghanistan from over the horizon. We’ve said all along this is a very difficult thing to do. It’s not an impossible thing to do, and we’re working that right now,” McKenzie said.

Plans ‘well advanced’

Experts and former commanders have raised concerns about the lack of details that have been associated with securing Afghanistan after the withdrawal.

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2018, file photo, U.S. Marines watch during the change of command ceremony at Task Force Southwest…
U.S. Marines watch during a change of command ceremony at Task Force Southwest military field, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2018. The final phase of ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan began May 1, 2021.
“The plans are very well advanced,” McKenzie said, deferring to the Defense Department to release further information.

Ret. Gen Joseph Votel, the former commander of CENTCOM, told VOA he has hoped to see a “more comprehensive plan for what this withdrawal would look like” in order to leave the government of Afghanistan and the Afghan forces “on the very best footing that we could.”

He pointed to the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq as a “much more deliberate approach” that left behind a large embassy and left a security cooperation element of special forces on the ground.

“Those are the kinds of things that that I would be expecting to see. I think the challenge with this right now is we’re just not seeing a lot of details,” Votel added.

According to McKenzie, the U.S. will help the Afghan air force, one of the country’s biggest advantages against the Taliban, maintain its aircraft through a combination of virtual advising from afar and flying parts in and out of the country. The method will undoubtedly slow the maintenance process, which could leave Afghan forces with limited air support.

“Risk will be greater, significantly greater,” McKenzie acknowledged.

There is also a complete plan to evacuate Afghans who helped the United States, should the need arise, although the size, scope and timing of the operation would come from the Department of State, he said.

Turkey in the spotlight

One post-withdrawal plan that does not appear to be finalized is how the Kabul airport will be secured. The airport serves both civilian and military aircraft.

Several hundred troops from NATO ally Turkey have been defending the airport, but it is unclear whether they will remain once NATO withdrawals, stoking fear that diplomats will not be able to safely enter and exit Afghanistan.

McKenzie said the U.S. military was still “in consultation with Turkish partners about the issue.” Biden is expected to meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels on Monday to discuss the airport security dilemma.

Reports have said Erdogan is looking for concessions in exchange for securing the airport, including an agreement from the U.S. that allows Ankara to keep and operate its Russian S-400 air defense system. The U.S. opposes Turkey’s acquisition and use of a Russian system alongside NATO weapons like the F-35 fight jet.

Another major concern is how well the U.S. will be able to uncover terrorists plots in Afghanistan, the very plots its military is supposed to be preventing through airstrikes, without a military presence in the country.

Bradley Bowman, a defense expert with the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, criticized the pullout for reducing the United States’ capability to monitor and deter the approximately 20 terror groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

“Just because we leave and we say it’s over, it’s not over,” Bowman said. “The Taliban is interested, and al-Qaida’s interested in forever jihad, and they’re going to keep fighting.”
Well with bases being refused by Pakistan and no where else to turn to this is no big revelation. Air strikes were an important part of the ANA's support, and took them out of many tough situations.
 

Hakikat ve Hikmet

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If true a clear victory for Pak! It also implies there might be some sort of "understanding" between the Pentagon and Pindi. Short of bases within Pak they have no other viable choices either. The "unwanted", "out of control" etc. types will now be taken out without much noise. It's a win-win....

As for India, it's a clear loss! No "Last Afgans" any longer!!! It's now the "Last Hindutva" like the way it was in Chitore...
 

PeaceGen

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CENTCOM Head Says US Will Not Support Afghan Forces with Airstrikes After Troop Withdrawal
By Carla Babb
June 14, 2021 05:16 AM
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, center, top U.S. commander for the Middle East, makes an…
FILE - Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie (center) makes an unannounced visit in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2020.
The United States is not planning to support Afghan forces with air strikes after the U.S. troops withdrawal is complete, and counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan will be limited to instances when attack plans have been discovered to strike the U.S. homeland or the homelands of our allies, according to the top U.S. commander in the Middle East.

“That would be the reason for any strikes that we do in Afghanistan after we leave, (it) would have to be that we’ve uncovered someone who wants to attack the homeland of the United States, one of our allies and partners,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told VOA in an exclusive interview as he traveled toward the region aboard a U.S. military plane.

The general’s comments appear to refute a report by the New York Times that said the Pentagon is considering seeking authorization to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan security forces if Kabul or another major city is in danger of falling to the Taliban.

McKenzie’s candid description of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after its withdrawal coincides with a narrowing counter-terror offensive against Islamic State and al-Qaida as the Pentagon prioritizes competition with China and Russia. The general said his force size in the Middle East was now “closer to 40,000,” a significant reduction from 18 months ago, when that number was between 60,000-80,000 troops.

FILE - Marine General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, speaks with U.S. troops while visiting Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2019.
Marine General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, speaks with U.S. troops while visiting Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2019.


Since President Joe Biden took office, he has ordered the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and cut U.S. military support for the Saudi-led offensive against Iranian-back Houthi rebels in Yemen, all while the Pentagon has moved ships, weapons systems and troops out of other Middle East nations.

McKenzie says the withdrawal from Afghanistan is a major event that has strained resources, not only across his command, but also across the U.S. Transportation Command, which helps shuttle U.S. military people and equipment to various locations across the globe.

Those resources will continue to be strained, he tells VOA, as U.S. aircraft will fly from bases thousands of kilometers away in order to gather intelligence and surveillance and “keep the pressure up” on terrorists in Afghanistan.

“It’s a long haul to get forces, aircraft into Afghanistan from over the horizon. We’ve said all along this is a very difficult thing to do. It’s not an impossible thing to do, and we’re working that right now,” McKenzie said.

Plans ‘well advanced’

Experts and former commanders have raised concerns about the lack of details that have been associated with securing Afghanistan after the withdrawal.

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2018, file photo, U.S. Marines watch during the change of command ceremony at Task Force Southwest…
U.S. Marines watch during a change of command ceremony at Task Force Southwest military field, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2018. The final phase of ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan began May 1, 2021.
“The plans are very well advanced,” McKenzie said, deferring to the Defense Department to release further information.

Ret. Gen Joseph Votel, the former commander of CENTCOM, told VOA he has hoped to see a “more comprehensive plan for what this withdrawal would look like” in order to leave the government of Afghanistan and the Afghan forces “on the very best footing that we could.”

He pointed to the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq as a “much more deliberate approach” that left behind a large embassy and left a security cooperation element of special forces on the ground.

“Those are the kinds of things that that I would be expecting to see. I think the challenge with this right now is we’re just not seeing a lot of details,” Votel added.

According to McKenzie, the U.S. will help the Afghan air force, one of the country’s biggest advantages against the Taliban, maintain its aircraft through a combination of virtual advising from afar and flying parts in and out of the country. The method will undoubtedly slow the maintenance process, which could leave Afghan forces with limited air support.

“Risk will be greater, significantly greater,” McKenzie acknowledged.

There is also a complete plan to evacuate Afghans who helped the United States, should the need arise, although the size, scope and timing of the operation would come from the Department of State, he said.

Turkey in the spotlight

One post-withdrawal plan that does not appear to be finalized is how the Kabul airport will be secured. The airport serves both civilian and military aircraft.

Several hundred troops from NATO ally Turkey have been defending the airport, but it is unclear whether they will remain once NATO withdrawals, stoking fear that diplomats will not be able to safely enter and exit Afghanistan.

McKenzie said the U.S. military was still “in consultation with Turkish partners about the issue.” Biden is expected to meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels on Monday to discuss the airport security dilemma.

Reports have said Erdogan is looking for concessions in exchange for securing the airport, including an agreement from the U.S. that allows Ankara to keep and operate its Russian S-400 air defense system. The U.S. opposes Turkey’s acquisition and use of a Russian system alongside NATO weapons like the F-35 fight jet.

Another major concern is how well the U.S. will be able to uncover terrorists plots in Afghanistan, the very plots its military is supposed to be preventing through airstrikes, without a military presence in the country.

Bradley Bowman, a defense expert with the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, criticized the pullout for reducing the United States’ capability to monitor and deter the approximately 20 terror groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

“Just because we leave and we say it’s over, it’s not over,” Bowman said. “The Taliban is interested, and al-Qaida’s interested in forever jihad, and they’re going to keep fighting.”
while i feel totally ashamed by this news, and also think it's seriously hurts NATO's mid-to-long-term interests (a regrown terror network that can safely train it's destructive powers forms a unacceptable risk to many civilians in many places), i really hope that other nations will come to aid the freedom loving people of Kabul and other places in Afghanistan.

i'll forward these thoughts to a mid-large number of intel agencies, political parties, and mass media news organisations. i hope Biden will see reason along with EU officials, and continue to police terror training areas, where-ever they may pop up.

China is being turned into a threat in western media, and i seriously suspect that at least part of this is mis-information spread by western governments to western audiences, justifying an arms race and regular minor confrontations with the Chinese.

And it's these minor confrontations that teach the Chinese how to pose an ever greater military challenge to NATO and it's allies.
I recommend that we stop these minor confrontations, give the Chinese jurisdiction over the South China Sea (barring well-publicized claims by other countries that conflict with Chinese expansion in the South China Sea) because the west can't and shouldn't try prevent a transision to a multi-polar world with 2 or 3 world-wide alliances of countries, first and foremost the western block and the eastern block (Russia, China, Iran, Venezuala (remember, Japan is a close ally of our NATO alliance).
WE HAVE EVERY OBLIGATION TO NOT PICK FIGHTS WITH SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT OTHER THAN OUR OWN.
IF DEMOCRACY IS SPREAD VIA ANYTHING BUT HONEST MEANS THAT ALLOW PEOPLE TO *NOT* CHOOSE FOR DEMOCRARCY AS THEIR NATIONAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, THEN THAT ENTIRE EFFORT IS VERY SHAMEFUL, AND ULTIMATELY COMPLETELY COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE (leading to wars of various (hidden) type, intensity and length) TO DEMOCRATIC NATIONS.

and avoiding confrontation with the Eastern block allows the Western block to focus on the threats that come to them (terrorism and crime), rather than the ones they create for themselves (Russia, China, and their allies).

so what if the threat does come from the eastern block, out of thin air?
i'm not saying this won't happen from time to time, but if we use shady / sneaky tactics, strategies, or methods to counter these (minor) attacks, then we will surely lose support for our security needs not just in the Eastern block, but among Western audiences as well.

currently, the situation sees a vast majority of civilians in the west consume nothing but mass media 'facts', opinions and 'evidence', that is controlled by various groups of rich people and the media companies they control. This allows for invasion and bombardement of entire countries (leading to milliions of civilian casualties) under false pretenses, like the war to remove Saddam from power over supposed WMDs in Iraq.

a minority, like people who read articles containing evidence and opinions on places on the public web like wikipedia.org and defence.pk, are better informed (they usually do not stop consuming mass media news content) than the average citizen, and harder to fool with mis-information-on-repeat.

however, freedom of speech allows anyone to compile lists of evidence as reported by people from the region that was for a while under foreign military attack and control., and this can then be used on social media like facebook or twitter or any other social media app to 'go viral', and this is even likely to happen when our governments would need the support of western civilians to enact a counter offensive against a (perceived) threat from the Eastern block.

mobile phones and the internet are gradually changing the compass on geopolitics.
the trend is toward multi-polarism with at least 2 poles (west, east).
and imo, it's utter evil to try to keep it uni-polar.
 

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