Top military officials acknowledged the “strategic failure” of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan after a failed 20-year war. This is Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: “The fact that the Afghan army, that we and our partners trained, simply melted away, in many cases without firing a shot, took us all by surprise. And it would be dishonest to claim otherwise.”
Generals Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, and Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said they recommended keeping a small force of 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, an apparent contradiction of statements given by President Biden earlier this year. In response, the White House said Tuesday that keeping troops in Afghanistan beyond August would have led to an escalated war with the Taliban.