Biden confirms end of 20-year military presence; US secretary of state says support for Taliban ‘will have to be earned’; Taliban fire guns into the air in Kabul in celebration
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The Associated Press reports that, on Monday night at the Pentagon, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, watched the final 90 minutes of the military departure in real time from an operations centre in the basement.
According to a US official, they sat in silence as they watched troops make last-minute runway checks, make the key defence systems inoperable and climb aboard the C-17s. As the last aircraft lifted off leaders around the room sighed in relief.
In case you missed it: The Australian government’s newly appointed adviser on resettling Afghan nationals has predicted the “residual trauma” among those fleeing Taliban-controlled Afghanistan will be “amongst the highest levels of any groups we’ve ever resettled”.
Paris Aristotle, the co-chair of an advisory panel announced on Monday, also said he welcomed signals from the government that it was open to taking more than the 3,000 Afghan nationals it initially pledged to accommodate by June next year.
Related: ‘Residual trauma’ of Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban will be ‘among highest levels’ Australia has resettled