Top US Commander in Afghanistan relinquishes post

Scott Miller

U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, speaks at a ceremony where he relinquished his command, at Resolute Support headquarters, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 12, 2021. The United States is a step closer to ending a 20-year military presence that became known as its “forever war,” as Taliban insurgents continue to gain territory across the country. (AP Photo/Ahmad Seir)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has relinquished his position at a ceremony in the capital of Kabul. The move takes the United States a step closer to ending a 20-year military presence that became known as its “forever war.”  The transition Monday comes as Taliban insurgents continue to gain territory across the country.

Gen. Scott Miller handed over command to Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command. McKenzie, also a four-star general, will operate from Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida. McKenzie assumes authority to conduct possible airstrikes in defense of Afghan government forces, at least until the U.S. withdrawal concludes by Aug. 31.

During the handover, McKenzie credited Miller with getting U.S. troops home safely and moving out millions of tons of equipment. That has rankled some Afghan security officials who complained that equipment that could have been left for Afghanistan’s security forces was taken.

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