US Military Sending B-52s to Protect Afghanistan Withdrawal

Pentagon spokesman said the number of ground troops in Afghanistan is also expected to increase temporarily.

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The White House on Friday approved the temporary deployment of the carrier and at least six B-52 bombers in an attempt to protect US and NATO forces as they leave Afghanistan starting in less than two weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, quoting officials.

US President Joe Biden announced on April 14 that he will end the US role in the 20-year-old conflict.

Quoting Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, Bloomberg reported that two of the B-52s have long-range bombers arrived in the region around Afghanistan Friday to bolster security as the US prepares to withdraw all 2,500 troops from the country by September.

Kirby told reporters that the bomber deployment was approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin along with an extension of the carrier USS Eisenhower’s current tour in the Middle East as the military anticipates potential attacks by the Taliban and works to send signals to deter them, according to Bloomberg report.

Kirby said the number of ground troops in Afghanistan is also expected to increase temporarily to assist and secure the departing US and NATO forces.

He added that military equipment will be transferred back to the US or redeployed in the region.

Kirby said that some will be given to the Afghan government or destroyed, Bloomberg reported.

He said that vehicles and equipment will be airlifted from Afghanistan and that the Defense Department is still assessing the cost of the withdrawal ordered by President Joe Biden.

The announcement of the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan has been accompanied by concerns within the country over the future of the peace process, human rights and Afghan forces.

Top US general who is in charge of US forces in the Middle East said Thursday he is concerned that the Afghan military will collapse after the United States and international troops leave Afghanistan.

He said that he is worried that Afghanistan’s military may not be able to “hold on” after American troops leave later this year.

US Military Sending B-52s to Protect Afghanistan Withdrawal