9news.com.au 22 Jul, 2021 04:15 am

Top US general warns Taliban have 'strategic momentum'

Top US general warns Taliban have 'strategic momentum'
The Taliban appear to have "strategic momentum" in the fight for control of Afghanistan the top US militar...

And while the Biden administration has vowed to continue financial assistance and logistical support for Afghan forces after August, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said the focus of US military efforts there will be countering terrorist threats, not the Taliban.p p Mr Austin said the US will "keep an eye on" Al Qaeda, the extremist network whose use of Afghanistan as a haven for planning the 9/11 attacks on the US was the reason American forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001."Our major focus going forward is to make sure that violence, terrorism, cannot be exported from Afghanistan to our homeland, and so we'll maintain the capability to be able to not only observe that but also address that if it does emerge," Mr Austin said, adding that the Taliban pledged in 2020 to not provide a sanctuary for Al Qaeda in the future.General Milley said the Taliban now control about half of the 419 district centres in Afghanistan, and while they have yet to capture any of the country's 34 provincial capitals, they are pressuring about half of them.

"A significant amount of territory has been seized over the course of six, eight, 10 months by the Taliban, so momentum appears to be — strategic momentum appears to be — sort of with the Taliban," General Milley said." Countries with the highest military expenditure in the world View Gallery "I don't think the end game is yet written," General Milley said.

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