On Tuesday, September 28th, President Biden’s top military officials testified that they advised Biden against Afghanistan withdrawal. Top officials claimed to have recommended this before the start of evacuations.
During a Senate hearing on the evacuations, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, General Mark Miley, told lawmakers he recommended keeping 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. This decision would have prolonged the war into three decades.
Top Military Officials Against Afghanistan Withdrawal
“I won’t share my personal recommendation to the President, but I will give you my honest opinion. And my honest opinion and view shaped my recommendation,” General Milley stated. “And I recommended that we maintain 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.”
Alongside General Milley, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and head of U.S. Central Command, Marine General Kenneth McKenzie Jr., said they also advised Biden not to pull out troops and continue the war in Afghanistan.
“I was present when that discussion occurred, and I am confident that the president heard all the recommendations and listened to them very thoughtfully,” Marine General McKenzie said.
The testimonies from McKenzie and Milley contradict statements made by Biden in August. The President told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos he could not “recall” any suggestions to keep troops in Afghanistan.
Before, the goal of allied forces was to develop a democratic Afghanistan government and military power in hopes that the US-supported government could survive on its own.
However, corruption was among Afghan government officials and military leaders. Most Afghan military and police forces surrendered their arms and allowed the Taliban to surmount with little to no fighting.
“In the end, we couldn’t provide them with a will to win,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers.
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