Top Officials Speak Out on Biden’s Catastrophic Afghanistan Withdrawal

( – General Mark Milley, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Kenneth McKenzie, former leader of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), both testified on Tuesday, March 19th about how poorly the American withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war in the country.

Both generals appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee for the first time since they retired. They were accompanied by several people who are related to the 13 American military personnel who died in the chaos of the withdrawal, also known as Gold Star Families.

While Democrats blame former President Trump’s deal with the Taliban for the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Republicans blame President Joe Biden, who ordered the withdrawal of American troops. The generals, however, refused to entirely agree with either side, laying blame on every president who was in office during the 20 year-war, including both Trump and Biden.

Though Gen. Milley said the Doha agreement, which was put into place by then-President Trump destroyed the morale of both the Afghan government and security forces, he also laid blame on the Biden administration for their timing of the Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO), claiming it came “too slow and too late.” Gen. Milley did praise the U.S. military for carrying out their duty as ordered, but he described the operation as a “strategic failure.”

Both generals said during testimony in 2021 that they had urged President Biden to maintain a small force of about 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan instead of a full withdrawal. Biden, however, refused and removed all U.S. service members from the country.

Due to the disastrous withdrawal, the U.S. left about $80 billion worth of equipment and supplies in Afghanistan. They were also unable to evacuate everyone involved in the military occupation, though the exact number of American citizens who were left behind is unclear at this time. Since the withdrawal, Afghanistan has fallen into a humanitarian crisis due to the Taliban takeover.

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