Top US generals said Tuesday that they had advised President Joe Biden to keep US troops in Afghanistan and expressed concern that the Taliban had not severed ties with al-Qaeda.
Gen. Mark Milli, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, said they had personally recommended that about 2,500 troops remain on the ground. Afghanistan.
Milli, Mackenzie and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin were questioned by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee for about six hours about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the evacuation of Kabul Airport.
White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie said Biden had received “divisive” advice on what to do in Afghanistan, which was attacked by the United States on September 11, 2001, following al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.
“Ultimately, it’s up to the Commander-in-Chief to make that decision,” Saki said. “He decided it was time to end the 20-year war.”
Milli, who blocked calls for some Republican lawmakers to resign, was asked if the evacuation and the random withdrawal, during which 13 U.S. soldiers were killed in a bomb attack, damaged America’s reputation. Delivered
“I think our credibility with allies and partners and adversaries around the world is being scrutinized to see where it is going and I think ‘loss’ is a word that Can be used.
Milli said the Taliban was and still is a terrorist organization and has not severed ties with al-Qaeda, which planned the 9/11 attacks from Afghanistan.
It remains to be seen whether the Taliban can consolidate power or the country will move further into civil war, he said. But we must continue to protect the American people from terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.
He said a reshuffle with al-Qaeda or Islamic State’s desire to attack the United States was “a very real possibility”, but “it is too early to determine their capability.”
‘We surprised everyone’
Austin said the United States “does not fully understand the depth of corruption and poor leadership in the Afghan armed forces.”
“We helped build a state, but we could not build a nation,” he said.
The head of the Pentagon said, “The fact that we and our partners have been trained has, in many cases, taken us all by surprise without firing a shot.” “Otherwise it would be dishonest to claim.”
Austin said the United States had provided the Afghan army with “equipment and aircraft and the skills to use them” but “in the end, we did not want them to win.”
Milli also testified about calls made to his Chinese counterpart in the months leading up to Trump’s presidency.
He said his goal was to reduce tensions and that the former president had no intention of attacking China.
“I know, I’m sure, President Trump didn’t intend to attack the Chinese,” Millie said.
“At the time, my job was to de-escalate. My message was constant: stay calm and steady and de-escalate. We are not going to attack you,” he said.
Calls between Milli and his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zhucheng, first appear in the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s book, Prel.
The first call was made on October 30, four days before the US presidential election, and the second on January 8, when Trump supporters stormed the US capital in an attempt to block Biden’s confirmation of victory.
Some Republican lawmakers have accused Milli of overstepping his authority and demanding his resignation.
Milli defended his actions, saying the calls were linked to the then-Secretary of Defense.
“The October and January calls were made specifically for intelligence, which led us to believe that the Chinese were upset by the US attack,” Milli said.
“At the highest level, this military-to-military communication is critical to the security of the United States in order to end military operations, manage crises and prevent war between the major nuclear-armed powers,” he said. ۔ “
“At no time was I trying to change or influence this process, seize authority or place myself in the chain of command,” Milli added.
“I firmly believe in the civilian control of the military as a fundamental principle for this republic, and I am committed to ensuring that the military remains free from domestic politics.”