Washington Deploys Six Bombers To Afghanistan To Aid In Departure
Washington has deployed six B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers to the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and is planning to ramp up ground troops in the region to aid in the withdrawal process from Afghanistan which should be complete by September 11th, 2021.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, "We have made it exceedingly clear that protecting our forces and the forces of our allies and partners as they too withdraw is a priority, it’s a main priority. We have made plans to introduce additional ground force capabilities to, again, make sure that this is safe and orderly".
A U.S. carrier strike group also deployed 12 F-18 fighter jets to provide support during the withdrawal process, and Kirby has stated that Central Command will add additional military assets as needed until all U.S. troops and assets are safely out of the region.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said "Our focus is on making sure that we can retrograde our resources, our troops, our allies in a safe and orderly and responsible fashion".
As Taliban have been ramping up their attacks, citing a retreat from the May 1st deadline for the United States to be pulled out of Afghanistan there has been a need for the U.S. to bring additional assets into the field as they continue with the process of withdrawing from the region.
On May 4th, military officials say they removed about 60 plane loads of equipment from Afghanistan and that the withdrawal process was between two to six percent complete.
As the United States views Russia and China as top threats, there is a consensus that the U.S. is reducing its troops elsewhere in the world to focus its assets in Europe and the Indo-Pacific regions.
There is no doubt however, that eliminating U.S. presence in the middle east will cause a large power vacuum to develop. One that terrorist organizations may attempt to exploit to their advantage.