The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan relinquished his position at a ceremony in the capital Kabul on Monday, taking the United States a step closer to ending its 20-year war. The move came as Taliban insurgents continue to gain territory across the country.
Another four-star general will assume authority from his U.S.-based post to conduct possible airstrikes in defense of Afghan government forces, at least until the U.S. withdrawal concludes by Aug. 31.
Gen. Scott Miller has served as America’s top commander in Afghanistan since 2018. He handed over command of what has become known as America’s “forever war” in its waning days to Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command. McKenzie will operate from Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida.
The handover took place in the heavily fortified Resolute Support headquarters in the heart of Kabul at a time of rapid territorial gains by Taliban insurgents across Afghanistan.
In a flag-passing ceremony, Miller remembered the U.S. and NATO troops killed in the nearly 20-year war as well as the thousands of Afghans who lost their lives.