Biden has been advised to keep troops in Afghanistan, top US generals say

Biden has been advised to keep troops in Afghanistan, top US generals say


Top US military generals said Tuesday they had advised US President Joe Biden to keep troops in Afghanistan. Statements made against Biden to the US Congress claim that he did not recall having received such advice. General Mark Milley and General Frank McKenzie testified before the US Congress. The generals were interviewed by the Senate Armed Forces Committee along with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

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Top US military generals said Tuesday they had advised US President Joe Biden to keep troops in Afghanistan. Statements made against Biden to the US Congress claim that he did not recall having received such advice. General Mark Milley and General Frank McKenzie testified before the US Congress. The generals were interviewed by the Senate Armed Forces Committee along with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

McKenzie and Milley both testified that they thought it best to keep at least 2,500 soldiers in the country. In an August interview, Biden denied that his commanders recommended keeping 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Taliban took power in a lightning offensive in August after all US troops had withdrawn from the country. This led to the overthrow of the government of former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. This resulted in a hectic evacuation of foreign diplomats and Afghan civilians

Also read | 35 terrorist attacks, 52 dead in August: Taliban victory in Afghanistan fuels terrorism in Pakistan

Milley, Austin and General Frank McKenzie of US Central Command all admitted that they had been surprised by the speed of the Taliban’s takeover following the collapse of the US-backed government in Kabul.

Republican lawmakers accused President Joe Biden of lying about his military’s recommendations that some troops should stay in the country. And even Biden’s Democrats expressed frustration at the withdrawal, which killed US troops and left American citizens behind.

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Milley refused to point out whether Biden had lied when he was urged by Republican Senator Dan Sullivan

“I’m not going to categorize a statement made by the President of the United States,” Milley said.

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Austin commended US personnel who helped move 124,000 Afghans out of the country.

Milley acknowledged, however, that while the evacuation effort was a logistical achievement, the US withdrawal was a “strategic defeat” that put the Taliban back in power.

(With contributions from agencies)

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