The US Department of Defense stated that the initial plan for the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan includes the withdrawal of at least some contractors .
U.S. President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan from May 1 to end the longest U.S. war, rejecting calls for U.S. troops to remain to ensure a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict.
As of October, Afghanistan had more than 18,000 contractors, including six thousand Americans and seven thousand from other countries, according to a US government watchdog group.
“Initial plans are under review to withdraw some contractors with military personnel,”said ministry spokesman John Kirby.
He did not have details on the number of contractors to be withdrawn and indicated that plans might change.
The Afghan government relies heavily on foreign contractors and trainers for, inter alia, the maintenance of some military aircraft.
The Taliban reiterated its call for an “immediate” withdrawal of all foreign troops and accused Washington of violating an agreement signed in February 020 with the administration of former US President Donald Trump that ordered the withdrawal of US troops by May 1.
The Taliban statement appeared to imply an implicit threat and warned that their fighters “in principle… They will take all necessary countermeasures and the American side will bear responsibility for all future consequences.”
Kirby said the U.S. has been dogged by threats and it would be reckless for the military not to take them seriously.