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Two Pentagon officials defend Afghan withdrawal: One admits major missteps, another refuses to resign

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Two top Pentagon officials have provided testimony defending Joe Biden’s chaos-filled withdrawal from Afghanistan, but at least one major player admitted to massive missteps that resulted in the loss of innocent lives.

President Joe Biden’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Gen. Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the withdrawal while presenting evidence of major missteps and a refusal to resign.

Austin referred to the Kabul drone strike and confessed to the errant loss of civilian and American service members’ lives.

“Tragically, lives were lost. Several Afghans were killed climbing aboard an aircraft on that first day,” Austin said during testimony on Tuesday. “Thirteen brave US service members and dozens of Afghan civilians were killed in a terrorist attack on the 26th. And we took as many as 10 innocent lives in a drone strike on the 29th.”

See here:

Some reactions to Austin’s testimony were as follows:

President Joe Biden’s withdrawal plans have been heavily criticized across social media and among Republicans, and today’s testimonies only add to the madness due to the chaotic situations that occurred leading up to the August 31st deadline, which the Taliban stated was a “red line” Biden should not cross.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan lead to at least 23,876 ‘at risk’ Afghan refugees being brought to the United States in various cities and bases. That number was expected to exceed 30,000 as more numbers were tallied.

Sen. Tom Cotton grilled Austin over bringing refugees to the United States. Cotton stated that Biden’s plan was ‘screwed up’ and criticized bringing refugees to the US who were not properly vetted. Cotton railed at Austin saying that numerous crimes had already been committed, and demanded to know how the Biden administration will keep Americans safe and secure from refugees who may wish to break the law or do harm.

 

Milley defended Biden’s withdrawal during his testimony, despite warnings that the Taliban might take over the Afghan government, Milley admitted that they didn’t anticipate such a fast take-down by the Taliban. Their intelligence assessments did suggest the Afghan government would fall once the United States pulled out, but it wasn’t expected until October, per report.

Ever since the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, they’ve been making headlines by riding swan boats and bumper cars while armed with RPGs. The Taliban appears to be mocking those who thought they couldn’t disrupt the Afghan government, let alone seize the Presidential Palace in a matter of days.

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Milley faced calls for his resignation, but refused to do so, and defended his position to Sen. Cotton while being grilled on the stand.

Sen. Cotton asked him about his advice to leave 2,500 American troops in Afghanistan and why Joe Biden didn’t listen to it, and why he [Milley] hasn’t resigned yet. Milley stated that his resignation would be “an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign because my advice is not taken.”

Milley continued, saying: “as a senior military officer, resigning is a really serious thing. It’s a political act if I’m resigning in protest.” He went further, saying: “the president doesn’t have to agree with that advice, he doesn’t have to make those decisions just because we’re generals. And it would be an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign because my advice is not taken.”

Milley’s defensive statement can be watched below:

Naturally, social media had opinions on Milley’s remarks:

 

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