The Pentagon has sent military reinforcements to Afghanistan to oversee the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces. Biden announced U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. But violence has been surging in the already-volatile country in recent weeks, as the Taliban condemned the U.S. failure to respect the earlier May 1 deadline for pullout, agreed to under the Trump administration. The New York Times reports at least 139 government forces and 44 civilians were killed in the past week, the highest weekly death toll since October.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch is warning Afghan women’s access to healthcare is at risk due to cuts in international aid. The group said “donors are locked in a waiting game to see whether the withdrawal of foreign troops will result in the Taliban gaining greater control of the country. But this is no excuse for cutting funds for essential services that aid groups have managed to deliver in insecure and Taliban-controlled areas.”