JOE Biden sent 3,000 US troops to Afghanistan to evacuate Americans and wind down the embassy as the Taliban sweeps the country.
The president ordered the deployment of troops to reinforce the more than 600 troops still working at or near the embassy in Kabul.
"This is a US decision by the commander in chief to reduce civilian personnel and to have US military personnel flow in to help with that reduction," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
Another 3,500 troops will be sent to Kuwait as a "reserve force" and 1,000 will go to Qatar to help process visa applications from Afghan civilians who helped the US, Kirby said.
Meanwhile, some US officials believe the Taliban could retake Kabul within a month of Biden's August 31 deadline to pull US troops out of the country.
The State Department has said that the embassy in Kabul will continue to function, but the decision to send in thousands of troops has led to questions about confidence in the Afghan government to hold off the Taliban.
Also on Thursday, the Taliban captured the cities of Herat and Ghazni.
Senator Mitch McConnell slammed the Biden administration's decision to continue removing troops from Afghanistan.
"Afghanistan is careening toward a massive, predictable, and preventable disaster," McConnell said in a statement.
"The Biden administration has reduced US officials to pleading with Islamic extremists to spare our embassy as they prepare to overrun Kabul."
Top US officials have maintained that the US government is not "abandoning" Afghanistan.
"This is not abandonment. This is not an evacuation. This is not a wholesale withdrawal," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
"What this is is a reduction in the size of our civilian footprint."
The US warned Taliban officials directly that the country would respond if the Taliban attacks Americans during the temporary US deployments.
TROOPS SET TO ARRIVE WITHIN DAYS
The 3,000 troops are set to arrive at the Kabul airport within a day or two and will assist with security at the airport and will process the departure of embassy personnel, Kirby said.
The US has already withdrawn most of its troops from Afghanistan. Only 650 remain.
Kirby stressed that the thousands of incoming troops does not mean that the US is reentering into combat against the Taliban and that the mission is temporary.
A new military assessment predicts that Kabul may come under pressure from the Taliban as early as September, despite its US-trained Afghan army.
Still, Price said that the US, led by the special envoy for Afghanistan, would continue to push for peace between the Taliban and the Afghan government at talks currently taking place in Qatar.
The Taliban has captured 12 of Afghanistan's 34 provincial capitals as part of a weeklong sweep.
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