Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US will pursue an "over-the-horizon" mission in Afghanistan in response to counterterrorism.
Austin made the remarks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies' (IISS) Manama Dialogue 2021.
“We must work together to combat terrorism—including in Afghanistan from al-Qaeda, and from the malice and sectarian hatred of ISIS.” he said.
“And we’ll keep up our relentless focus on counterterrorism, even as we shift to an over-the-horizon concept in Afghanistan,” the defense secretary said at the conference.
The Islamic Emirate said that the US was defeated in Afghanistan and that there is no need for any foreign country to counter terrorism in the country.
“There are no outsiders in Afghanistan. We will not allow any country’s presence by any other means,” said Inayatullah Khwarazami, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.
The US ended its 20-year military mission in late August with a rapid withdrawal of American troops and Afghan allies.
“The truth is that none of these countries were honest regarding Afghanistan. They all were in Afghanistan for their own interests,” said Abdulhaq Humad, a political analyst.