Al-Qaeda could threaten the US in a year, General Mark Milley
US General Mark Milley has cautioned al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan could threaten the US in a year.
The Taliban completely ended ties with the group, stated Gen Milley.
Gen Milley and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin are being questioned in Congress about last month’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The government malformed as the Taliban quickly progress through the country.
However, Senator and committee leader Jack Reed said lawmakers wanted to apprehend whether the US “missed indicators” of the government’s failure.
The US has stated that it will now be headed towards counter-terrorism operations.
The hearing, held by the Senate armed services committee, comes weeks after a disordered extraction at Kabul airport as foreign powers sought to get their citizens home and thousands of distressed Afghans pleaded for rescue.
Tuesday’s hearing initiated with opening testimony from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, followed by Gen Milley.
Gen Milley further stated that it would now be tougher to defend Americans from terrorist attacks from Afghanistan.
“The Taliban was and remains a terrorist organization and still has not broken ties with al-Qaeda,” he said.
“A reconstituted al-Qaeda or ISIS [Islamic State group] with aspirations to attack the US is a very real possibility, and those conditions to include activity in ungoverned spaces could present themselves in the next 12-36 months.”
Gen Milley said he made an evaluation in late 2020 that an enhanced troop extraction from Afghanistan could precipitous the government’s failure.
“We helped build a state, but we could not forge a nation,” Mr. Austin said.
“The fact that the Afghan army we and our partners trained simply melted away – in many cases without firing a shot – took us all by surprise”.
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