The United States will be sending an additional 1,000 troops to Afghanistan, bumping up the number to 6,000 in total. According to US media reports citing an official from the country’s Department of Defense, the move was approved by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The announcement comes as the security situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate after the Taliban took control of the presidential place in the capital city Kabul on Sunday. Additionally, President Ashraf Ghani stepped down from his position giving way for a potential ‘interim government’.
The primary objective of these troops will be to maintain security standards at the international airport in Kabul, which is the entry point for the United States military personnel and an exit route for those who have been evacuated from the embassy or wish to leave the country.
“We are not assuming that every inch of the airport is secure”, an official from the United States Department of Defense official said.
According to reports from CNN citing the defense official, the 1,000 follow up troops that will be deployed to Afghanistan are part of the 82nd Airborne, who were originally headed for the middle eastern country Kuwait.
Currently, 3,000 United States troops are on Afghan soil while the remaining are either on their way or will be deployed in the future, according to reports from CNN.
The Biden administration officials on the call with senators – among them were Milley, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin — said United States intelligence agencies are working on forming a new timeline based on the evolving threats, the person familiar with the matter said.
The pullback of U.S. military forces across Afghanistan over the last several months has sharply limited intelligence agencies that work side by side with troops, according to reports from news agency Associated Press.