US Top Commander in Afghanistan Stepped Down Amid Troop Withdrawal
- Gen. Austin Miller relinquished his post at a ceremony on Monday
- Rear Adm. Peter G. Vasely to take charge of the security mission at the United States Embassy in Kabul and report to Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr
- Gen. Miller has served as the top US commander since 2018
Washington: The top American general in Afghanistan stepped down on Monday, a symbolic moment as the United States nears the end of its 20-year-old war.
At a muted ceremony at the U.S. and NATO military headquarters in Kabul, Gen. Austin Miller relinquished his post. Gen. Miller during the ceremony passed the baton to his successor for command of the military mission in Afghanistan. The ceremony, which lasted less than an hour, was attended by high-ranking Afghan officials, including Abdullah Abdullah, who is leading peace negotiations.
Sources report that Rear Adm. Peter G. Vasely, who recently served as operations director for the Defense Intelligence Agency, will take charge of the security mission at the United States Embassy in Kabul. He will report to Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military’s Central Command, who will take over the broader military mission in Afghanistan.
Gen. Miller has served as America’s top commander in Afghanistan since 2018. He is expected to retire after a 38-year career in the US Army.
The withdrawal comes on the heels of a Taliban military that had acquired the borders of several nations including Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. As per reports, the Taliban presently controls over one-third of Afghanistan’s 421 districts and district centres.
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