WASHINGTON, June 19 (Sputnik) – The nominee to take over as commander of the US-NATO mission in Afghanistan, Lt. General Austin Miller, said during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday that withdrawing forces from the war-torn country would be inimical to American national security interests.
“My personal opinion is that withdrawal would have negative effects for protecting our vital national interests,” Miller told the Senate Armed Services committee.
Last month, US President Donald Trump nominated Miller to replace Gen. John Nicholson to command US Forces-Afghanistan.
Miller admitted that the United States needs to leave Afghanistan at some point but must do it in a proper manner.
He also said the recent ceasefire announced by the Afghan government is the first step towards jump starting a peace process with the Taliban.
On June 7, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a temporary unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban for the period between June 11 and June 19 to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Later in June, the Taliban decided to declare the three-day ceasefire marking the end of Ramadan.