Washington. US President Joe Biden is facing severe criticism for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the US top military officer, who appeared for the first time in the US Congress (Parliament), revealed on Tuesday that Biden took this decision even after being given several warnings. General Mark Milley, chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that he had advised President Joe Biden that some 2500 troops should be kept on standby in Afghanistan.
Not only this, General Mark Milley also expressed apprehension that the Taliban had not completely severed its ties with al-Qaeda. The military official termed the war in Afghanistan in the last 20 years as a “strategic failure”. Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it was his personal opinion that at least 2,500 troops were needed to be stationed in Afghanistan to prevent the fall of the government in Kabul and the return of the Taliban regime.
Enemy rule in Kabul
Milley described the war as a “strategic failure” in which 2461 Americans lost their lives. On August 15, he said about the Taliban’s capture of the capital of Afghanistan, ‘Kabul is under the rule of the enemy.’ He also said that perhaps America’s biggest failure was that Afghanistan’s forces were placed too much on American troops and technology.
General Frank Mackenzie, the head of Central Command and overseeing the final months of the US war, said he agreed with Milley’s assessment. He also declined to say what advice he had given to Biden. Senator Tom Cotton asked Milley why he did not resign when his advice was not heeded, Milley said, “It is not necessary that the President agrees with that advice.” It is also not necessary that he should decide because we have advised him as a general. And resigning as an army officer just because my advice was not followed would be an unbelievable act of political disobedience.
Defense Minister Lloyd Austin also made a statement
Defense Minister Lloyd Austin has also given a statement before the committee. He defended the campaign to evacuate people by planes by the army. He said that it will be difficult to deal with future threats from Afghanistan but it is completely possible. He told the committee, ‘We helped create a state, but we could not make a nation.’
“The truth is that the Afghan army that we and our allies trained, laid down their arms easily,” he said. It took us all by surprise.
Austin acknowledged shortcomings in the evacuation operation that began on August 14 at Hamid Karzai International Airport. However, he said that the evacuation by air service was a historic achievement, which has evacuated 124,000 people under Taliban rule.
“We have all seen pictures of Afghan civilians running out of fear on the runway and behind our planes,” he said. We all remember the confusion outside the airport, but within 48 hours, our soldiers had restored order. (with agency input)