Pentagon preparing for Taliban attacks during US withdrawal

Afghanistan Mapping the Conflict

Map of Afghanistan shows which districts are controlled by the Taliban, contested or under government control

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon is preparing for the possibility of Taliban attacks on U.S. and coalition forces during a withdrawal from Afghanistan.

This prospect complicates the outlook for winding down America’s longest war. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said, “We have to assume that this drawdown will be opposed.”

He was explaining why Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin decided to keep an aircraft carrier in the Middle East during the pullout and to move Army Rangers and at least four B-52 bombers to Afghanistan as a precaution.

The Taliban have not said publicly whether they intend to interfere with the pullout.

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