(CNN)Army Gen. Austin Scott Miller, the top US military official overseeing the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, said that there should be concern about the Taliban advances on the ground there.
“We should be concerned. The loss of terrain and the rapidity of that loss of terrain has — has to be concerning, one, because it’s a — war is physical, but it’s also got a psychological or moral component to it. And hope actually matters. And morale actually matters,” Miller said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “And so, as you watch the Taliban moving across the country, what you don’t want to have happen is that the people lose hope and they believe they now have a foregone conclusion presented to them.”
The US military is in its final stages of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, which is expected to be completed soon, bringing an end to America’s longest war. CNN reported Friday that the last US troops had left Bagram Air Base, marking the end of the American presence at the sprawling compound that became the center of military power in Afghanistan.
While President Joe Biden is remaining steadfast in his decision to draw down troops by September 11, concerns are rising about the pace of troop withdrawal, the deteriorating security in Afghanistan, and lingering questions about the US’ long-term strategy.
Miller expressed his concern about the security situation in Afghanistan and raised the potential of a civil war once US troops are gone, as the Taliban are already moving rapidly to take over districts in the northern parts of the country.
“You look at the security situation, it’s not good. The Afghans recognize it’s not good. The Taliban are on the move. We’re starting to create conditions here that won’t look good for Afghanistan in the future if there’s a push for a military takeover,” he said.
Asked about the future safety of those who supported the US military effort in Afghanistan and will remain in the country, Miller responded, “I don’t like leaving friends in need. And I know that my friends are in need.”
He did not divulge what his advice was to Biden on the question of whether to withdraw troops.
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Along with military commanders, members of Congress have also raised concerns about a resurgence of terrorism should the US-backed government in Kabul fall soon after US troops exit the country.
Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Sunday warned that Biden will be held responsible for the aftermath of the withdrawal from Afgh
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