Sun, 20 Jun 2021

Washington DC [US], May 4 (ANI): Amid the ongoing US drawdown from Afghanistan, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has hinted that all possible outcomes can unfold following the exit of American troops from the war-torn country, including "really dramatic, bad possible" results.

"On the one hand you get some really dramatic, bad possible outcomes, and on the other hand, you get a military that stays together and a government that stays together," Milley told a select group of reports including CNN on Sunday.

"Which one of these options becomes reality at the end of the day, we frankly don't know yet and we have to wait and see how things develop over the summer. There's a lot of variables to this, and it's not 100 per cent predictable," he added.

This statement comes as Washington formally started their drawdown from the war-torn country on May 1.

Milley further said the withdrawal of the troops has been going on for a long and this is the final stage. "It's been a long glidepath as we deliberately handed off functions and responsibilities to the Afghan security forces at the time," Milley said. "This has been going on for a while. This is just the final phase."This statement about the bad "possible outcomes" comes a month after a report in the US media had stated that top US military commanders were recommending against a full withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, advising to try to cement a peace agreement first, but US President Joe Biden did not share their concern.

US media reports had said high-ranking US military officers had recommended retaining the current force of 2,500 troops while stepping up diplomacy to try to cement a peace agreement.

According to the reports published last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, himself a retired military commander for the region, had shared the concerns of the senior officers, cautioning that withdrawing all US troops would suspend what amounted to an insurance policy for maintaining a modicum of stability in the country.

Biden administration is now set to pull US forces out by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (ANI)

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