Afghan leader meets Biden as the Taliban take ground and momentum as the US withdraws

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Kabul – President Biden should meet his Afghan counterpart, President Ashraf Ghani, at the White House on Friday to review the ongoing US military withdraws from his country. As CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata reports, the meeting with Ghani’s government is being held under heavy pressure from a Taliban offensive, and amid growing concerns for the thousands of Afghan civilians who worked with the US military during the Twenty Years’ War.

Afghanistan has entered its most critical phase since the US invasion in 2001. The Taliban have made huge military advances across the country in the past few months.

According to the United Nations, the militants have captured more than 50 of the country’s 370 districts since May. Some estimates are much worse. The Taliban say that Afghan soldiers simply give up without a fight and give up their posts.

The Afghan security chief on the future of his country …

01:52

The group’s progress has accelerated – keeping pace with the US withdrawal, which accelerated last month. US sources tell CBS News that the withdrawal mission will be completed by mid-July, if not sooner.

But the Fate of around 18,000 Afghan interpreters and their families hang in the balance. President Biden has vowed to get them out of the country, but it’s a mammoth task.

Sources have told CBS News that the plan is to get thousands of Afghans out of the country by civilian aircraft to a third nation where they can complete the visa process, but it’s a mission that is certainly to some extent logistical Capabilities of the US Military.

The Associated Press reported Friday, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that about 650 American troops are expected to remain in the country beyond the withdrawal to ensure the safety of the U.S. diplomatic presence. The AP said that some 300 more US soldiers would remain stationed at the main Kabul airport until the Turkish armed forces could fully take over this responsibility.

Reporter’s notebook: US troop withdrawal

03:32

At his meeting with President Ghani on Friday, Mr Biden will discuss Afghanistan’s new relationship with the US in terms of economic and humanitarian aid.

But with the Afghan security forces losing ground, which the government has held onto for years, Ghani needs significant military support above all, and those days are over.

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