The commander of the U.S. Central Command, General Frank McKenzie, and the former commander of U.S. forces inside Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, said to Congress that they recommended to President Biden that the military keep a presence of around 2,500 troops inside Afghanistan. Biden said during an August 19 interview that he could not recall anyone recommending troops stay in Afghanistan after the deadline.
The testimony was strange because a current military commander has rarely contradicted the words of his commander in chief.
General McKenzie also recommended to President Trump that a force of 4,500 troops remain in Afghanistan.
“In answering questions from Republican Senator Jim Inhofe (Ok) about his advice, McKenzie stated he would not reveal his “personal recommendation” to President Biden.”
“But he said his “personal view,” which he said shaped those recommendations, was that removing forces “would cause the collapse of the Afghan military and, eventually, the Afghan government.”
“McKenzie also said he spoke to Biden directly about the recommendation from General Scott Miller, the commander of American Forces in Afghanistan up until July, that the military should leave a few thousand troops in the country, which Miller revealed in testimony just last week.”
General Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs Chairman, was also asked if he agreed with the assessment that 2,500 troops should stay in Afghanistan. Milley stated yes. Later, Sen. Tom Cotton asked the general if he should have resigned after Joe Biden failed to follow this recommendation.
Milley said that resigning would have been a “political act,” and that Biden has no obligation to accept his military advice. “It would be an act of political defiance for an officer to simply resign due to my advice not being taken,” Milley said. “That is not our job.”
Milley added that his choice was also informed by his father’s experience, who fought at Iwo Jima.
“My father did not get a choice to resign,” Milley said. “Those kids at Abbey Gate, they didn’t get a choice to resign,” Milley said, referring to the 13 Americans who died during the evacuation from Kabul in late Aug. when a suicide bomber detonated a vest. “They can’t resign so I wont resign. There is no way.”
Author: Steven Sinclaire