(RightIsRight.co) – Many Americans and lawmakers have been eagerly waiting for the Senate Armed Services Committee to interview the nation’s top military leaders on the swift and chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. After an ISIS suicide bomber killed 13 US soldiers and a US drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians during the process, it was time to demand answers from those in charge.
The Expansive Senate Hearing on Afghanistan
On Tuesday, September 28, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) took his turn speaking with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley, and General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. about their recommendations leading up to Biden’s decision to pull troops from Afghanistan.
While Milley would not disclose conversations he had with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office, he repeatedly emphasized that his assessment and recommendation of the US strategy in Afghanistan “remained consistent throughout” the past year. When speaking to the number of US troops he believed America should keep in the nation, he recommended “a steady state of 2,500 and it could bounce up to 3,500.”
However, President Biden clearly did not leave any US troops in the nation, and instead, let the Taliban swiftly take over Kabul and the government.
Cotton Asks Milley Why He Did Not Resign
Cotton emphasized that President Biden rejected Milley’s counsel when he removed all US troops from the country. When confronting the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this, Cotton asked him, “if all this is true, General Milley, why haven’t you resigned?”
Milley defended his stance as a senior military officer, noting that a resignation would be an act of protest. He noted his job is “to provide legal advice or best military advice to the president”, and he should not take it personally whether or not the president accepts his recommendation.
When Did Biden Actually Seek Advice?
The Taliban took over Kabul on August 15. However, General Milley admitted he was not asked to present a recommendation to the president keeping a military presence in the nation until August 25, a full 10 days after the fall of the government. Cotton questioned the leaders as to how it took over a week for them to speak with Biden about the situation, but they did not provide a firm answer.
Looking at the hearing, it’s clear that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan was a mess. President Biden took his sweet time asking the nation’s top military advisors for help, and when he did, he rejected their professional opinions.
Now, hundreds are dead in the aftermath of this chaos, and American citizens are still stranded behind Taliban lines. Hopefully, going forward, the Biden administration does everything in its power to help those stranded overseas before it’s too late.
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