More than a month after the US drawdown from Afghanistan, a top US general on Tuesday said that United States’ 20-year military presence in the country was their strategic failure.
During his testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said that his personal opinion was to have 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, Khaama Press reported.
Top US military generals on Tuesday told the US Congress that they had advised President Joe Biden to keep nearly 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, contradicting what he had said earlier on the subject.
During public testimony, General Mark Milley and head of US Central Command General Frank McKenzie stated that they had agreed with the recommendation of US Army General Austin Miller that 2,500 troops be left in the country, though they denied giving details of what they advised Biden directly.
Back in April, Biden announced his decision to end US military presence in Afghanistan. As the US continued to draw down from Afghanistan, the Taliban started to take over the country.
In a matter of few weeks, the Taliban managed to capture Kabul on August 15. Biden administration faced flak from some sections of US media for the quick fall of US-backed Afghan soldiers.
“I won’t share my recommendation to the president, but I will give you my honest opinion, and my honest opinion and view shaped my recommendation,” McKenzie said. The US Army officer further said that he recommended that the US should maintain 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that “ending the war in Afghanistan was in our national interest”.
“He (Biden) said advice was split, but the consensus of top military advisors was 2500 troops staying meant escalation due to deal by the previous admin. @SecDef, the Chairman, and GEN McKenzie all reiterated,” Psaki tweeted while referring to Biden’s previous remarks to ABC.