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Joint Chiefs Chairman says 'dramatic, bad' outcomes could await Afghan military after US withdraws

General Mark Milley said there are "a range of outcomes, a range of possibilities" for the Afghan army as U.S. and coalition forces pull out of the country.

Published: May 2, 2021 4:30pm

Updated: May 2, 2021 5:01pm

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said that there could be "really dramatic, bad possible outcomes" for the Afghan military as U.S. and coalition forces exit Afghanistan. 

"Your question: The Afghan army, do they stay together and remain a cohesive fighting force or do they fall apart? I think there’s a range of scenarios here, a range of outcomes, a range of possibilities," Milley told CNN and Associated Press reporters, according to the AP. "On the one hand you get some really dramatic, bad possible outcomes. On the other hand, you get a military that stays together and a government that stays together."

Milley noted that it's not evident how the situation will ultimately play out. 

"Which one of these options obtains and becomes reality at the end of the day? We frankly don’t know yet. We have to wait and see how things develop over the summer," he said.

The military official said that a "possibility" exists for the Afghan government to arrive at a negotiated political settlement with the Taliban, which would steer clear of a "massive civil war" that some people are concerned might occur.

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