US has ability to conduct strikes in Afghanistan if a threat emerges: Milley

The United States has the capability of conducting strike operations in Afghanistan if a threat emanates from the country’s territory, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said on Wednesday.

In a prepared testimony for the House Appropriations Committee, Milley said: “We do maintain surveillance (in Afghanistan) and I won’t go into the details of how or what forms or mechanisms, and we do have the capabilities to conduct strike operations if we see a threat emanating from the land of Afghanistan.”

Critics have however said foreign countries are now using Daesh as a tool to achieve their own goals.

“Twenty years ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan and brought its troops to Afghanistan, as if Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan, but the whole world saw Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and [saw him being] killed by US itself there. Even now, countries are using Daesh as a tool to achieve their goals.” said Sarwar Niazi, an Afghan military expert.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said however that Afghanistan does not pose a threat to any country and officials called on the international community and the United States to engage with the new Afghan government instead of repeating past mistakes.

“The IEA has a very clear policy that it does not want any country to be threatened or any other country to be threatened from Afghanistan. It still expects the international community, including the United States, to not repeat the mistakes of the past but to instead enter into a good relationship with Afghanistan,” said Inamullah Samangani, IEA’s deputy spokesman.

This comes after Mark Milley, the US Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, said Wednesday that Daesh and Al Qaeda were expanding and that terrorism was resurgent in Afghanistan.

The IEA has said however that Daesh has been suppressed in the country.