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Biden to send 5,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan

Taliban forces patrol a street in Herat, Afghanistan August 14, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Saturday that he had approved 5,000 US troops to go to Kabul to help safely draw down the American embassy and remove personnel from Afghanistan as Taliban forces overtake the country. Conway G. Gittens reports.

The White House made the announcement yesterday after it was found that Taliban insurgents had captured the Afghan government’s northern stronghold, Mazar-e-Sharif.

In a lengthy statement, Biden defended his decision to send the additional American troops in order to safely help evacuate personnel from Afghanistan and issued a warning to the Taliban saying that any action that put U.S. personnel at risk “will be met with a swift and strong U.S. military response.

Biden’s decision to go ahead with Trump-era plans to pull U.S. forces out of Afghanistan has given way to a Taliban resurgence – as Afghan forces crumble.

But he’s not backing down from that decision. Explaining on Saturday, Biden said “One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me“.

The Taliban have swept through much of Afghanistan, capturing a major city in northern Afghanistan on Saturday and drawing closer to Kabul, where Western countries scrambled to evacuate their citizens from the capital.

British forces are joining the US in steps to curb the insurgent’s movements after what seems as no end to the conflict in the country.

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