Report: Top US Commander Tells Troops in Afghanistan To Prepare for Anything
The top United States general in Afghanistan spoke to NATO-led noncombat Resolution Support mission on Tuesday and stressed the need for a political end to the war in Afghanistan.
“Peace talks (are) out there, regional players pressing for peace, the Taliban talking about peace, the Afghan government is talking about peace,” Gen. Scott Miller said, according to Reuters.
“Are (the RS) able to adapt? Are we able to adjust?” Miller asked.
“Are we able to be in the right place to support positive processes and negative consequences, that’s what I ask you guys to think about in 2019.”
According to NATO’s Resolute Support website, Miller is no stranger to the challenges that the troops face in the Middle East.
“General Miller has extensive experience in counterterrorism operations alongside NATO and regional partners,” Miller’s bio says. “A career special operations officer, General Miller has commanded U.S. combat formations at every level.”
Miller was also among the first troops to deploy to Afghanistan after the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The general’s comments came on the heels of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
Amongst reports and speculation of President Donald Trump cutting back on troops in Afghanistan as well, Miller said on Dec. 23 that nothing has changed.
“You have seen the same rumors I have in the newspapers. But all I would assure you is, first of all, I have no orders, so nothing changed. We are same today as we were yesterday and we will be the same tomorrow,” Miller said during a trip through the Afghan province of Nangarhar, according to the Voice of America.
“But if I do get orders I think it is important for you to know that we are still with the security forces. Even if I have to get a little bit smaller (in troop size) we will be OK. We have thought about this before and we will be able to do the things that you require in terms of support.”
Miller said that a political solution to the conflict is necessary for the Afghan people to ever live in peace.
“My personal preference is that we stop the violence because the people who are paying the price are the Afghan people, in some cases its civilians. But regardless if it’s the Taliban or security forces, the people who are paying the price are the Afghan people.” Miller said.
On Dec. 28, Bloomberg reported that a White House spokesperson told reporters that there has been no change in the official U.S. position.
“The president has not made a determination to drawdown U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and he has not directed the Department of Defense to begin the process of withdrawing U.S. personnel from Afghanistan,” said Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council.
As a possible 2019 cease-fire has been debated, Reuters reported that the fighting has not yet died down in the war-torn region.
While Miller stressed the need for politicians to work for a peaceful end to the conflict, in 2018, the Taliban reported that they had been able to force the United States into inviting them to negotiate.
“The Mujahideen defended valiantly … the invaders were forced to review their war strategy,” the Islamic militant group said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Reuters reported that Col. David Butler, spokesman for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, said, “As long as the Taliban want to fight we are going to fight.”
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