In Kabul, Pentagon chief speaks of 'responsible end' to war

Lloyd Austin, Yasin Zia
Posted at 4:11 PM, Mar 21, 2021

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has made his first visit to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief, and he says the Biden administration wants to see “a responsible end” to America’s longest war.

But Austin says the level of violence must decrease for “fruitful” diplomacy to have a chance.

With questions swirling about how long U.S. troops will remain in the country, Austin said during the stop Sunday in Kabul that “in terms of an end date or setting a specific date for withdrawal, that’s the domain of my boss.”

He said his visit was intended to let him “listen and learn” and to help with his participation in reviewing the future of the American force.