UPDATED 12:08 PM PT – Thursday, July 15, 2021
Gen. Scott Miller has returned to the U.S. after stepping down from his post as the top commander of American forces in Afghanistan. Miller arrived at Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday and was greeted by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as well as Joint Chief Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.
Gen. Miller announced his decision on Monday and handed over command to Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie. The transition of power comes as the Taliban has ramped up attacks in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
“We can all see the violence that’s taking place across the country, but we know that with that violence, that what is very difficult to achieve is a political settlement,” said Miller.
Miller had been the longest serving American commander in the Afghanistan war after being in charge of U.S. and NATO Forces in the country since 2018.
Meanwhile, a recent poll found Americans are split over the U.S. troop withdrawal decision. A recent Politico Morning consult survey found 59 percent of Americans support the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, while 25 percent are in opposition, leaving 16 percent having no opinion towards the move.
Despite mixed opinions on the departure, most agree a relaxed U.S. presence in the region could lead to an uptick in violence and create a “safe haven” for terrorism.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush told DW that he believes the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan is a mistake because “Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm.”
You can watch the full interview here: https://t.co/V8D61gwr0Epic.twitter.com/SvdJLtnqIZ
— DW Deutsche Welle (@DeutscheWelle) July 15, 2021
Former President George W. Bush weighed in on the matter, saying he thinks the withdrawal is a “mistake.” In an interview with German media released on Wednesday, the 43rd president said he was afraid for Afghan women and girls who he believes will suffer “unspeakable harm”.
He further voiced his concern for interpreters and those who helped U.S. and NATO troops who are being left behind to be “slaughtered.”
Bush first launched the war in Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks with the aim of toppling the Taliban government. However, Joe Biden has now said it’s the right and responsibility of the Afghan people to decided how their country will function.