Top US commander in Afghanistan: Must not 'turn our backs' following troop removal

Top US commander in Afghanistan: Must not 'turn our backs' following troop removal
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A top U.S. military commander warned on Sunday that the country needs to stay vigilant in Afghanistan as  American troops leave the area this year. 

"I would like us not to just turn our backs on this," Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said during an appearance on ABC's "This Week."

"I think there are tremendous lessons. And, you know, they're not all positives, there's victories as well. So we will celebrate those within organizations, and really learn from those things that didn't go as well as they wanted to. You know, an honest self reflection, that's going to be important going forward."


The comments from Miller come after the general warned at the end of June that the security situation in Afghanistan was "not good" amid U.S. withdrawal from the country. 

The Taliban have moved quickly following the beginning of troops withdrawing in April, taking control of dozens of districts and creating conditions that "won't look good for Afghanistan in the future if there is a push for a military takeover,” Miller said at the time. 

“The loss of terrain and the rapidity of that loss of terrain has to be concerning," Miller added. “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."

Last month the leader of Afghanistan's National Reconciliation Council, told The Associated Press the U.S. withdrawing troops from the region “will have an impact on the negotiation with the Taliban.”

President BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE announced in April roughly 3,500 remaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan will leave by Sept. 11, as will the approximately 7,000 NATO troops. 

The U.S. has had troops in the country since 2001, invading the country following the 9/11 terror attacks carried out by al Qaeda. 

“Our troops are coming home, but we agreed that our diplomatic, economic and humanitarian commitment to the Afghan people and our support for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces will endure,” Biden said in announcing the withdrawal. 

The United States is halfway done withdrawing the remaining service members. 

Some Republicans have criticized Biden over the move, saying a lack of U.S. presence in the region could lead to future global conflicts or attacks on the West. 

“Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is a retreat in the face of an enemy that has not yet been vanquished and abdication of American leadership,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE said when the move was announced.