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FILE PHOTO: A specialist works onboard the Allseas' deep sea pipe laying ship Solitaire to prepare a pipe for Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea September 13, 2019. Picture taken September 13, 2019.
The U.S. has withdrawn more than 50% of its forces and equipment from Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command estimated in an update Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Biden announced in April that the U.S. would begin the process of withdrawing all forces from Afghanistan starting May 1, with the goal of finishing by Sept. 11. CENTCOM said Tuesday that it would no longer be updating the specific percentage of its withdrawal, citing security reasons.

Details: As of June 8, the U.S. Department of Defense has retrograded about 500 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan.

  • Approximately 13,000 pieces of equipment, comprised of federal excess personal property, have been handed over to the Defense Logistics Agency, according to CENTCOM
  • Additionally, six U.S. facilities have been turned over to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

Comment: One wonders how much equipment they will 'accidentally' leave behind? US commanders admit they've lost track of weapons given to Kurdish militants in Syria, so they should just keep them

The big picture: The U.S. withdrawal has sparked fears that the Taliban could overrun the Afghan government and retake control of the country.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Taliban forces are preparing for "large-scale offensives against major population centers," surrounding positions held by Afghan security forces as they wait for the last U.S. troops to depart.
  • The State Department announced last week it would send more than $266 million in new humanitarian aid to Afghanistan as part of its enduring commitment to the country's stability.