Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff, admitted President Biden’s Afghanistan exit was a “strategic failure.”
“I think one of the other senators said it very well, it was a logistical success but a strategic failure, and I think those are two different terms,” Milley said when asked by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) about his assessment of the operations.
Milley noted he referred to the “non-combatant evacuation” of Americans and Afghan allies after Kabul fell to the Taliban.
Later, Milley again described the “strategic failure” in Afghanistan when questioned by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
“An outcome that is a strategic failure, the enemy, is in charge of Kabul, there’s no way else way to describe that,” Milley said. “That outcome is the cumulative effect of 20 years, not 20 days, and there are a huge amount of strategic operation and tactical lessons that need to be heard from that.”
During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Milley spoke to senators about Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan exit.
Several of Biden’s statements about the exit were criticized by Republicans, showing the outright lies from the president about the details surrounding the messy departure.
Milley claimed he never saw Biden’s assertion that none of his military advisers recommended that he leave troops in Afghanistan until Americans were safely evacuated. When pressed, he declined to characterize the president’s statement.
Milley said Biden had “intent” of troops remaining in Afghanistan until Americans were evacuated, as he promised during an interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Sullivan questioned Milley if Biden falsely claimed al-Qaeda was no longer in Afghanistan, “al-Qaeda is still in Afghanistan,” he replied.
Sullivan and other senators pressed the general if he agreed with Biden’s description of the evacuation operation as an “extraordinary success”; however, he did not defend the statement from the president.
“The problem here these are not marginal misstatements by the president to the American people. These are dramatic, obvious falsehoods that go to the very heart of the foreign policy fiasco that we have witnessed,” Sullivan said.