Kabul: The U.S. Supreme General in Afghanistan gave up command in a ceremony in the capital on Monday. This is the latest symbolic gesture. Even if the Taliban continue to carry out bloody attacks across the country, it will bring the United States’ longest war to an end.
General Austin “Scott” Miller-the highest-ranking officer in the war-torn country-handed over command to General Kenneth MacKenzie, who will oversee the remaining operations of the US headquarters.
Miller has been in Afghanistan since 2018, but was recently accused by Commander-in-Chief Joe Biden of organizing the final withdrawal of the US military, which will be completed by the end of August.
The speed of withdrawal-and the recent offensives launched by the Taliban-has raised concerns that Afghan security forces may quickly become overwhelmed, especially in the absence of important US air support.
However, Biden has made it clear that the United States must end its involvement in the war launched after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that the Afghans must plan their own future.
Biden detailed in May that most of the 2,500 U.S. and 7,500 NATO troops who were in Afghanistan at the time of the final withdrawal have now left, leaving the Afghan army to fight the brave Taliban who seem to be determined to achieve military victory.
It is said that the peace talks between the insurgents and the government held in Doha basically ended in failure.
“The command of this coalition has always been the highlight of my military career,” said Miller, who survived the Taliban assassination attempt in 2018, killing a senior Afghan official he met.
“I do know that the Afghan people will stay in my heart and in my mind for the rest of my life,” he added after passing the coalition flag to MacKenzie.
The United States has handed over the huge Bagram Air Base to the Afghan army. In the past two decades, coalition forces have conducted operations against the Taliban and jihadist groups there.
Approximately 650 American soldiers are expected to remain in Kabul, guarding Washington’s sprawling diplomatic compound where the ceremony was held on Monday. Senior Afghan officials and military officers attended the ceremony in the heavily guarded Green Zone.