During the cross-examination of President Joe Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal, the Senate Armed Services Committee has heard some interesting remarks from a number of top military leaders.
The committee continues to deal with the crisis overseas, where a number of Americans are still trapped under Taliban rule and since the U.S troops’ presence evacuated. The committee is dealing with the Taliban’s newfound leadership and the threat it poses to the rest of the world, the tens of billions in U.S military equipment that was abandoned, and the drone strike that took out Afghan allies and children. Biden has made a mess and military leaders are moving quickly to point the finger.
U.S Central Commander Marine General Frank McKenzie shared with the committee that he recommended they keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and that he predicted withdrawing them would cause the Afghan army to collapse and for the Taliban to take over. He emphasized he was positive that President Biden heard his recommendation for maintaining a U.S troop presence in Afghanistan. Even Joints Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley agreed with the statement.
“Withdrawal of those forces would lead inevitably to the collapse of the Afghan military forces and eventually, the Afghan government,” McKenzie warned.
McKenzie’s statements contradict what President Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos last month when being interviewed on the American withdrawal. Stephanopoulos pointed out to Biden that it’s been a “stable situation” for the last several years and asked if the military advisers or anyone else told him to keep some troops there. “No. No one said that to me that I can recall,” Biden replied.
President Biden has even offered the since-fled Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani continued U.S air support in exchange for the new Afghan leadership over the war effort. Biden told President Ghani back in July that “things aren’t going well” in the fight against the Taliban and that they need to project a different picture. Biden told him to empower acting Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammad, adding that he’ll get “more help” and a “perception that is going to change.” He told him they would continue to provide close air support as long as they know what the plan is and what they are doing.
Many sources note that the Afghan government was likely to fall and that they were questioning whether the Afghan forces could muster the resistance to hold on in Kabul, the capital. But President Biden continued to emphasize to the media that the Afghan government would not fall and that there would be “no chaotic evacuation similar to the end of the Vietnam War.” He emphasized how their options were either a full, drawn-out conflict or a complete withdrawal, which couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Milley told the House Panel that he would not share his personal recommendation to the President but that they had recommended keeping about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan so that the government could have the chance at remaining stable after their withdrawal. Milley agreed with McKenzie in saying he predicted the Taliban would take over and the Afghan army would collapse if they are completely withdrawn.
“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. And I recommended that we maintain 2,500 troops in Afghanistan,” Milley said.
The testimony at the Senate hearings has only made President Biden out to be a liar. But that’s been well-documented knowledge for nearly 50 years now. And nobody is going to be held accountable for the mess that was the Afghanistan withdrawal.
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