The White House said Thursday that the war in Afghanistan has not been won military by any party as a US withdrawal continues.
Spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked at a news conference if President Joe Biden had plans to mark the full pullout when it is completed. She said Biden might speak on Afghanistan in the future in terms of plans for the end.
“We’re not going to have a mission accomplished moment in this regard. It’s a 20-year war that has not been won militarily,” said Psaki.
“We are proud of the men and women who have served, incredibly grateful – the president will note that in his remarks,” she added.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) said Tuesday that the process to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan by September is more than 90-percent complete.
Meanwhile, the Taliban claimed on Friday that they now control 85 percent of Afghanistan’s territory amid a surge in wins on the ground and as American troops complete their pullout from the war-battered country.
The announcement came at a press conference at the end of a visit by a senior Taliban delegation to Moscow this week — a trip meant to offer assurance that the insurgents’ quick gains in Afghanistan do not threaten Russia or its allies in Central Asia.
The claim, which is impossible to verify, was considerably higher than previous Taliban statements that more than a third of the country’s 421 districts and district centers were in their control. There was no immediate response from the government in Kabul on the latest claim.
Earlier this week, Taliban advances forced hundreds of Afghan soldiers to flee across the border into Tajikistan, which hosts a Russian military base. Tajikistan in turn called up 20,000 military reservists to strengthen its southern border with Afghanistan. Russian officials have expressed concern that the Taliban surge could destabilize the ex-Soviet Central Asian nations north of Afghanistan.