General warns of Afghanistan civil war as US forces prepare to withdraw

- Advertisement -

The US’s top general in Afghanistan gave a sobering assessment of the country’s deteriorating security situation as America winds down its so-called “forever war”.

General Austin S. Miller said the rapid loss of districts around the country to the Taliban, several with significant strategic value, is worrisome.

He also cautioned that the militias deployed to help the beleaguered national security forces could lead the country into civil war.

Gen Miller told a small group of reporters in the Afghan capital that for now he has the weapons and the capability to aid Afghanistan’s National Defence and Security Forces.

But he said only a political solution will bring peace to the war-tortured nation.

“It is a political settlement that brings peace to Afghanistan.

“And it’s not just the last 20 years.

“It’s really the last 42 years,” he said.

Gen Miller was referring to not only the US war but that of the Soviet Union’s 10-year occupation that ended in 1989.

General Austin S Miller (Ahmad Seir/AP)
General Austin S Miller (Ahmad Seir/AP)

The civil war gave rise to the Taliban who took power in 1996.

US officials have said the entire pullout of US troops will most likely be completely finished by July 4.

But Gen Miller refused to give any date or time frame, referring only to the September 11 timeline given by President Joe Biden in April when he announced the final withdrawal of the remaining 2,500-3,500 American troops.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have been over-running districts in rapid succession, many of them in the north of the country, which is dominated by Afghanistan’s minorities.

The north is also the traditional stronghold of many former mujahedeen leaders that have been a dominant force in Afghanistan since driving the Taliban from power in 2001 together with the US-led coalition.

Several of the districts have been on key roads and one on the border with northern Tajikistan.

The Taliban have issued statements saying hundreds of Afghan security forces have surrendered, most of them going to their homes after being videoed receiving transport money from the Taliban.

Gen Miller said there are multiple reasons for the collapse of districts, some the fatigue of the troops and their surrender, psychological defeat and military loss.

But he said escalating violence risks the country falling into a deadly civil war.

“As we start talking about how does this all end?

“The way it must end for the Afghan people is something that revolves around a political solution,” said Gen Miller.

“I’ve also said that if you don’t reduce the violence, that political solution becomes more and more difficult.”

He refused to say where the US and its Nato allies were in the withdrawal process.

Gen Miller said his time as the head of the US’s military mission in Afghanistan was coming to an end, without giving a date,

He would not speculate on the legacy of the US’s longest war, saying it will be for history to decide.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.