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OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden defends course on Afghanistan | Most British troops are already out | Rockets fired on US embassy in Iraq

Comfortable Thursday and welcome to In a single day Protection. I am Ellen Mitchell, and this is your nightly information to the most recent developments on the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and past. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.

THE TOPLINE: President BidenblankJoe BidenCawthorn: Biden door-to-door vaccine strategy could be used to ‘take’ guns, Bibles Trump Jr. calls on Manchin, Tester to oppose Biden’s ATF nominee On The Money: Biden fires head of Social Security Administration | IRS scandals haunt Biden push for more funding MORE on Thursday rejected the idea that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is “inevitable,” defending his choice to withdraw from the 20-year warfare amid reviews of a deteriorating safety scenario within the nation.

“Let me ask those that need us to remain: What number of extra? What number of hundreds extra Individuals’ daughters and sons are you prepared to danger? How lengthy would you’ve gotten them keep?” Biden mentioned throughout an impassioned speech from the White Home East Room.

“Already we have now members of our army whose dad and mom fought in Afghanistan 20 years in the past. Would you ship their youngsters or their grandchildren, as nicely? Would you ship your personal son or daughter?” he requested.

A sped up finish date: Biden additionally confirmed the U.S. army mission will finish Aug. 31, forward of his unique Sept. 11 deadline, including that the USA would start evacuating Afghans who helped U.S. troops in the course of the warfare as quickly as this month.

“Our army commanders suggested me that when I made the choice to finish the warfare, we wanted to maneuver swiftly to conduct the principle components of the drawdown. And on this context, pace is security,” Biden mentioned. “Conducting our drawdown otherwise would have actually include elevated danger of security to our personnel. To me, these dangers had been unacceptable.”

Background: In April, Biden ordered a full withdrawal from Afghanistan, setting the stage for the tip of America’s longest warfare by the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist assaults that initially sparked the U.S. invasion.

Not the identical as Vietnam, says Biden: However because the U.S. withdrawal has neared its finish, Taliban positive factors have accelerated, elevating fears the insurgents will overrun Kabul after the U.S. departs. Critics have additionally in contrast the scenario to the autumn of Saigon in 1975.

Biden, although, categorically rejected these comparisons.

“The Taliban isn’t the North Vietnamese Military. They are not remotely comparable when it comes to functionality,” Biden mentioned. “There’s going to be no circumstances the place you’re going to see folks being lifted off the roof of an embassy in the USA from Afghanistan.”

An evacuation: The winding down of the withdrawal has additionally prompted extra pressing warnings on the necessity to evacuate Afghans who served as interpreters or in any other case helped U.S. troops in the course of the warfare as they wait for his or her visa functions to come back to the USA.

Biden mentioned relocation flights will start later this month to U.S. amenities outdoors the continental United States or in third-party nations, however provided few different particulars of the plan. The White Home has not disclosed particularly the place people shall be transferred, with press secretary Jen Psaki earlier Thursday citing “safety causes” in not disclosing places.

“Our message to these ladies and men is obvious: There’s a house for you in the USA, when you so select,” Biden mentioned. “We’ll stand with you, simply as you stood with us.”

Read the rest here.

MOST BRITISH TROOPS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday introduced that most British troops have left Afghanistan, practically 20 years after it adopted the USA and different NATO allies into the nation.

“All British troops assigned to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan at the moment are returning house,” Johnson instructed the U.Ok. Parliament’s Home of Commons.

Citing safety causes, he declined to offer additional particulars on the troop withdrawal however famous that “most of our personnel have already left.”

British involvement: British troopers have been in Afghanistan since after the 9/11 terrorist assaults on the USA by al-Qaeda, occasions that sparked the 20-year battle. The warfare has claimed the lives of 457 British troopers.

When President Biden earlier this 12 months set a Sept. 11 deadline for withdrawing all U.S. troops from the nation, NATO introduced it might observe.

PM downplays lingering threats : The U.Ok. and different nations’ removing of troops comes because the Taliban have taken massive swaths of territory in Afghanistan, sparking fears the Afghan authorities would shortly fall as soon as international troops go away. 

Johnson mentioned the menace from al Qaeda to the U.Ok. is “considerably decrease” than it was in 2001, however “after all there stay terrorist threats from Afghanistan.”

He didn’t reply questions on whether or not the short army exit would unravel 20 years of efforts in holding terrorist teams at bay, solely saying that the U.Ok. “should be real looking about our capability alone to affect the course of occasions.”

“It’s going to take mixed efforts of many countries, together with Afghanistan’s neighbors, to assist the Afghan folks to construct their future,” Johnson mentioned. “However the menace that introduced us to Afghanistan within the first place has been significantly diminished by the valor and by the sacrifice of the armed forces of Britain and plenty of different nations.”

Continued efforts: He additionally pressed that the U.Ok. will proceed to make use of diplomacy to assist the Afghan authorities and the Taliban attain a peace settlement, saying “we aren’t strolling away.”

“We’re holding our embassy in Kabul, and we are going to proceed to work with our mates and allies, notably our mates in Pakistan, to work in the direction of a settlement,” Johnson mentioned.

Moreover, Johnson mentioned Britain will present the Afghan authorities with roughly $138 million in improvement assist this 12 months and provides one other $80 million for the Afghan safety forces.

ROCKETS LANDS NEAR US EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD

Rockets landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Thursday, officers mentioned, inflicting injury within the space.

The Associated Press reported that two Katuysha rockets touched down in and across the Inexperienced Zone in Baghdad, an space that features the embassy. The rockets fell close to the constructing and in an open courtyard.

A 3rd rocket landed in a close-by residential space, inflicting injury to a civilian car, the AP reported, citing Iraqi safety.

The hits maintain coming: The improvement comes after a base housing U.S. troops in Iraq was struck with more than a dozen rockets on Wednesday, inflicting two minor accidents.

Greater than 14 rockets reached the al-Assad Air Base in western Iraq, touchdown on the bottom and the perimeter, based on Col. Wayne Marotto, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition Operation Inherent Resolve.

He mentioned all the personnel on the base had been accounted for after the assault, however introduced that “two personnel sustained minor accidents.”

Such assaults have ramped up since late final month amid rising tensions between U.S. troops and Iran-backed forces,

Retaliation: The suspected assaults from Iran-backed militants come after the Pentagon in June launched airstrikes on Iran-based militia groups on the Iraq-Syria border, which killed 4 Iraqi fighters.

ICYMI

— The Hill: Cyber Command lawyer calls for military operations against hackers

— The Hill: US to provide investigative assistance to Haitian police in president’s assassination

— The Hill: US citizens among suspects arrested in Haitian president’s assassination: reviews

— The Hill: Opinion: The New START extension lacks vital factors for strategic stability

— The New York Occasions: Taliban Attack a Provincial Capital in Afghanistan’s North, Releasing Prisoners

— Navy.com: GAO Warns of Ballooning F-35 Sustainment Prices, Need for Plan to Cut Billions

— The Related Press: US agrees to $7M settlement in Kansas VA hospital abuse case

 

https://thehill.com/coverage/protection/562185-overnight-defense-biden-defends-course-on-afghanistan-most-british-troops-are

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