US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a new command structure in Afghanistan that includes the transition of US military mission from warfighting to two new objectives: protecting a continuing US diplomatic presence in Kabul and maintaining liaison with the Afghan military, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Friday.
The plan calls for the top US and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, to transfer his combat authorities to the head of US Central Command, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie.
The Associated Press reports that a two-star Navy admiral will head a US Embassy-based military office, dubbed US Forces Afghanistan-Forward, to oversee the new mission of providing security for the embassy and its diplomats.
A satellite military office based in Qatar and headed by a US one-star general will be established to administer US financial support for the Afghan military and police, plus maintenance support provided for Afghan aircraft from outside Afghanistan, AP report says.
“A safe, orderly drawdown enables us to maintain an ongoing diplomatic presence, support the Afghan people and the government, and prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for terrorists that threatens our homeland,” Kirby said on Friday.
This comes as the US military has left the Bagram Airfield in central Afghanistan and has handed it over to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, the Ministry of Defense confirmed on Friday.
courtesy : TOLO NEWS