KABUL, Afghanistan — The highest American normal in Afghanistan stepped down on Monday, a symbolic second as america nears the tip of its 20-year-old conflict and Taliban fighters sweep throughout the nation.
At a muted ceremony at U.S. and NATO navy headquarters in Kabul, Gen. Austin S. Miller ended his practically three-year time period as commander. His duties can be stuffed by two officers. Rear Adm. Peter G. Vasely, a former member of SEAL Staff 6, will take cost of the safety mission at america Embassy in Kabul. He’ll report back to Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the pinnacle of the navy’s Central Command, who will take over the broader navy mission in Afghanistan.
“It’s necessary to me to say farewell,” Common Miller stated. The ceremony, which lasted lower than an hour, was attended by high-ranking Afghan officers, together with Abdullah Abdullah, who’s main peace negotiations. “Our job is now to not overlook,” Common Miller stated.
Common McKenzie, who arrived in Kabul on Monday, spoke afterward, assuring these current that the Individuals weren’t abandoning the Afghan folks in such dire occasions.
“It’s not the tip of the story,” Common McKenzie stated. “It’s the tip of a chapter.”
Common Miller oversaw a navy marketing campaign geared toward holding the Taliban on the negotiating desk and the Afghan forces unified within the face of political uncertainty.
Regardless of hundreds of airstrikes, elevated civilian casualties and short-term tactical beneficial properties, it’s unclear how profitable the U.S. navy effort was: The ultimate settlement between the rebel group and america in February 2020 clearly favored the Taliban, and the Afghan authorities was utterly reduce out of the deal.
The Taliban have seized management of greater than 160 of the nation’s roughly 400 districts within the final two months, and tons of of Afghan troops have surrendered, giving up their U.S.-supplied gear and fleeing, typically into neighboring nations. Key provincial cities in each the north and south are beneath siege, and Afghan authorities counterattacks have had restricted success.