After troop pullout from Afghanistan, US to keep counter-terrorism ability


By Arul Louis

New York, Apr 20 (IANS): The US will maintain counter-terrorism capabilities after pulling out its troops from Afghanistan, according to Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby.

"The President was clear, we are removing US forces from Afghanistan and will maintain the sufficient counter-terrorism capabilities we need to detect and prevent threats to our homeland that could emanate from Afghanistan," he told reporters on Monday.

President Joe Biden announced last week that he was withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, ending the 20-year war.

Asked about the US' efforts to stop Islamabad's support for terrorism, Kirby said: "We continue to have a dialogue with Pakistan about terrorist issues along that border with Afghanistan. I think it's helpful to remind that they too have suffered from terrorist attacks inside their country."

Pakistan provided safe havens and material support for the Taliban and other terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan.

Kirby did not give details of how the counter-terrorism capability will work.

But he said that Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin had asserted "that we have a vast range of capabilities available to us.

"We're not going to speak to the details of exactly how we're going to maintain those capabilities and utilise those capabilities, but there are already in Central Command a terrific amount of capability at the disposal of the US. And we'll examine this going forward."

The US military's Central Command has bases or facilities in several countries in the Middle East, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 after the Al Qaeda terror group that was operating from there launched the 9/11 attack.

  

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