The Biden administration on Saturday, August 14, announced an additional 5,000 U.S. troops to be deployed to Afghanistan to aid the withdrawal of United States and allied personnel.
Fox News reported that the White House already had 1,000 military soldiers there, with 3,000 troops sent by the Pentagon earlier this week. The 82nd Airborne Division also announced 1,000 paratroopers heading to Kabul next week.
President Joe Biden, in a statement, said the army was given the mission to ensure “an orderly and safe drawdown of U.S. personnel and other allied personnel and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance.”
Biden said U.S. authorities had signaled with Taliban officials an imminent and robust response if their actions in Afghanistan may compromise the safety of US individuals or the U.S. operation there.
Biden committed to following through on the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying it should be when he stops having the U.S. army involved in another country’s civil conflict.
“I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth,” he said.
Since Biden’s decision came into effect, the Taliban quickly began to seize control of Afghanistan’s territory. Biden’s new announcement came as the militant group took control over 24 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and is rapidly closing on Kabul, the capital.
According to reports received by the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Wednesday, Taliban fighters were executing surrendering Afghan forces and unjustly holding government officials, including military chiefs, provincial officials, and police officers, per Fox News.
Captive citizens were also subjected to executions, forced marriages, and other possible war crimes.
The UN anticipated that nearly 1,000 civilians had died due to attacks in the last month. Unicef, the UN organization for children, published a statement earlier this week warning of child rights breaches, saying that “the atrocities are increasing by the day,” USA Today reported.
The Biden administration has pledged to combat future terrorist threats from Afghanistan and assist Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and other Afghan officials in reaching a political agreement.
The outlet revealed that Ambassador Tracey Jacobson, the administration’s Afghanistan task force chief, has been tasked with overseeing a “whole of government effort” to transport and relocate Afghan special immigrant visa applicants and other Afghan allies.