UPDATED 6:28 PM PT – Monday, July 12, 2021
Joe Biden’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin welcomed his British counterpart Ben Wallace to the Pentagon. The two officials held talks on Monday to address security challenges in the wake of U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The meeting comes as terror group Taliban has made rapid gains on the ground, which led Afghan forces to flee to neighboring Tajikistan. The Taliban has taken control over multiple districts, including areas along the border of Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Defence Secretary @BWallaceMP met with @SecDef Lloyd Austin in Washington for talks today. The pair discussed future carrier strike cooperation, space, @NATO and investments in cutting edge defence technology to meet future threats ???? pic.twitter.com/AuBdNLhf9d
— Ministry of Defence ?? (@DefenceHQ) July 12, 2021
Wallace announced plans for British troops to also depart from Afghanistan as the joint anti-terror mission has come to an end.
“We, on the United Kingdom side, just want to pay tribute to all the support the U.S. forces has given Afghanistan to us all,” he expressed. “I think, like yourselves, we are on track to leave together towards the end of August as the Resolute Support draws to an end.”
It remains unclear if the U.S. and Britain are prepared for a potential Taliban takeover of Kabul, which analysts estimate could happen within the next six months.