On Thursday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said the US was considering training the Afghan military in other countries after US troops are pulled out of Afghanistan.
“We’ll continue to take a look at training them perhaps in another location,” Milley said at a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. When asked if that means the US would train Afghan forces from a different country, Milley said, “It’s possible.”
“There’s a lot of different options out there, and we haven’t settled on one of them yet,” he added. Milley reiterated that the US will continue to provide financial support for the Afghan military.
The Afghan military, especially the air force, is reliant on Pentagon contractors to maintain their equipment. At the press conference, Austin said the plan is to remove US contractors from Afghanistan, but Milley suggested some sort of contractual support could continue.
“That’s one of the key questions and I will tell you that the final crossing of Ts and dotting the Is of that plan is not yet settled,” Milley said when asked if the US will continue providing maintenance to the Afghan military through contractors.
“But maintaining logistic support to the Afghan Air Force is a key task that we have to sort out doing it over the horizon, but also in country. It could be done by contractors,” he said. “A lot of that’s going to be dependent on the security conditions on the ground. But the intent is to keep the Afghan Air Force in the air and to provide them with continued maintenance support.”