There is a change of guard in Afghanistan in the American camp. Gen. Austin 'Scott' Miller was in charge for the past three years. He handed over charge to Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie who would operate from his headquarters in Tampa, Florida. While leaving, the former General said: “Our job now is not to forget those who sacrificed their lives.” The incoming General told the Afghan forces: “You can count on our support in the dangerous and difficult days ahead.” In April, President Joe Biden said he wants US troops to pull out from Afghanistan by September 11.

Daily Mail UK says Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie interacted with media persons on his journey to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. He was on a military aircraft over the Atlantic. He told them the Taliban probably wanted a “military victory” over the government. He also expressed an opinion that it would not be easy for the insurgents to take Kabul. This is because it has a sophisticated defense system in place. In any case, the ultimate aim of the Taliban could be a political settlement with Afghan officials.

No headway in peace talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban

Kabul was the venue of the handing over of charge for the United States. There were reports of Taliban advances and clashes in areas like the central city of Ghazni and the southern province of Kandahar.

The latter is a Taliban heartland. Peace talks are in progress between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban in Dubai but the issues remain unresolved. Over the past couple of months, the Taliban have captured many districts. They have even claimed border crossings with two countries. These are Iran and Turkmenistan.

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Daily Mail UK quotes a former Member of Parliament of Afghanistan saying: “Since the past four days, armed Taliban are attacking...Kandahar city from the western direction.” He adds that security forces are making all-out efforts to thwart their designs.

Biden is against further engagement in Afghanistan

An official of the Pentagon admitted to a media outlet about the security situation on the ground.

It is deteriorating and the Taliban appears to be having the upper hand. As a result, President Biden opened up on the subject. He is not in favor of sending another generation of Americans to Afghanistan. He said there is “no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.” Daily Mail UK goes on to add that the administration has its hands full with many aspects of the withdrawal. One of these is the rehabilitation of thousands of interpreters who worked with American troops.

America would extend limited support to Afghanistan in the coming days

According to NBC News, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie is the new man in the saddle. He told the forces of Afghanistan that America would continue to extend support.

The majority of personnel and equipment have already left and there would be total withdrawal by the month-end. He assured the Afghan forces that support will continue in the dangerous and difficult days ahead. The Biden administration announced that the US would retain a skeleton staff in Kabul for the security of its embassy and assistance at Hamid Karzai International Airport. The U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will officially down shutters on Aug 31. That would signal the end of U.S. airstrikes against the Taliban. McKenzie revealed that the Afghan Air Force has begun to operate more independently and shouldering the responsibility for strikes.