U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Commander General Richard Clarke testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday and told the lawmakers that the Afghan military is not ready for taking over sole responsibility for the security of the country. 

Clarke said that American Special Forces and regular troops are needed by Afghan security forces in their fight with the Taliban. Hist testimony comes amidst debate on whether to withdraw American troops by the May 1 deadline stipulated in the peace agreement signed with the Taliban last January.

Although the Taliban have not attacked American forces since they signed the agreement with the United States, they “[have] not upheld what [they said they] would do.”

“The capabilities that the U.S. provide for the Afghans to be able to combat the Taliban and other threats that reside in Afghanistan are critical to their success,” Clarke said.