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US Sends in Troops to Afghanistan to Speed Up Evacuations

On Friday, 3,000 U.S. troops were rushing to Kabul in a temporary deployment to help speed up evacuation flights for American diplomats and the thousands of Afghans living in the country’s capital city. This is because of the Taliban being aggressively on the offensive, taking over much of the country and potentially isolating Kabul.

The Pentagon also moved another 4,500 to 5,000 troops to bases in the Gulf countries of Qatar and Kuwait. 1,000 of that number will be going to Qatar to speed up the visa process for Afghan translators and others, along with their families, who fear having to face retribution from the Taliban for working with Americans.

The 3,500 to 4,000 remaining troops will be a reserve force on standby “in case we need even more” than the 3,000 already going to Kabul, says Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, according to AP News.

This buildup of troops for U.S. evacuations showcases how fast and aggressive the pace of the Taliban takeover of much of the country. This comes three weeks before the U.S. is set to officially end almost 20 years of combat in Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden is unwavering on ending the U.S, mission in Afghanistan at the end of the month. He insists that the American and NATO mission that launched on Oct. 7, 2001 has done all it could to help build up a Kabul-based Afghan government that could withstand an attack from the Taliban when the troops have withdrawn.

The Taliban, however, have been emboldened by this as they took four more capitals on Friday, according to AP News. They gradually encircling Kabul, home to millions. 

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