The nation’s top generals testified on Tuesday that they advised Joe Biden earlier this year to keep several thousand U.S. troops in Afghanistan, directly contradicting his claims that no one had warned him not to withdraw completely from the country.
The botched withdrawal led to panicked mob scenes scenes at the Kabul airport, the loss of billions of dollars worth of military weaponry to the Taliban, and the abandonment of hundreds of American citizens and Afghan allies in the war-torn country. Worse yet, thirteen American service members were killed in an ISIS bombing attack at the airport, and in an attempt to retaliate, the Biden regime droned an innocent family in Kabul, mistaking an Afghan aid worker for an ISIS terrorist.
The generals’ testimony today placed the burden for the debacle squarely on Biden’s shoulders.
Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing Tuesday that he had recommended maintaining a small force of 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, Politico reported.
He also noted that in the fall of 2020, during the Trump administration, he advised that the U.S. maintain a force almost double the size, of 4,500 troops, in Afghanistan.
In answering questions from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) about his advice, McKenzie said he would not share his “personal recommendation” to the president.
But he went on to say that his “personal view,” which he said shaped his recommendations, was that withdrawing those forces “would lead inevitably to the collapse of the Afghan military forces and, eventually, the Afghan government.”
McKenzie testified that he talked to Biden in person about Gen. Scott Miller’s recommendation that the military leave a few thousand troops on the ground, which Miller, the commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan until July, reportedly detailed in closed testimony last week.
“I was present when that discussion occurred and I am confident that the president heard all the recommendations and listened to them very thoughtfully,” McKenzie said.
Biden, however, told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during an Aug. 19 interview that “no one” had advised him to keep a force of about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.
Stephanopoulos asked Biden point blank: “So no one told — your military advisers did not tell you, “No, we should just keep 2,500 troops. It’s been a stable situation for the last several years. We can do that. We can continue to do that”?
Biden answered: “No. No one said that to me that I can recall.”
Moreover, during a press conference in July, Biden denied that the Intelligence Community had warned him that the Afghan government would “likely collapse” if he pulled out all of the troops.
“That’s not true,” Biden shot back. “They did not. They didn’t reach that conclusion.”
Joe Biden on July 8, 2021 — so, just over one month ago.pic.twitter.com/n9DhN6SKut
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) August 15, 2021
General Milley testified during the hearing Tuesday that he agreed with the recommendation to leave 2,500 to 3,500 troops on the ground, but declined to characterize Biden’s comments as “a false statement.”
“I’m not going to characterize a statement of the president of the United States,” he told Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).
But when asked by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) whether he had presented the 2,500 to 3,500 troop recommendation to Biden, Milley all but admitted that he had.
“I don’t discuss exactly … my conversations with the sitting president in the Oval Office,” he replied. “But I can tell you what my personal opinion was, and I was always candid.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told Sen. Cotton that their recommendations to keep a small troop presence in Afghanistan did make it the Oval Office.
“Their input was received by the president, and considered by the president for sure,” Austin testified.
Someone is lying.
Either President Biden ignored the advice of his top military advisors and lied to shift blame for his disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal—or those advisors lied to Congress under oath. pic.twitter.com/F6rBSG5Mp8
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) September 28, 2021
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) noted during the hearing that the generals’ testimony had confirmed that Biden had lied about the advice military leaders had given him. Additionally, he said that Biden had apparently also ignored their advice not to delay the evacuation, and that the Pentagon had failed to plan for the eventual collapse of the Afghan government and security forces as the carried out Biden’s fatally flawed orders.
.@HawleyMO on what we've learned from Afghanistan hearing:
1. Biden lied about the advice military leaders gave him
2. State Dept & WH delayed evacuation to catastrophe
3. The Pentagon failed to plan for the collapse of the Afghan Govt & Security Forces despite warnings pic.twitter.com/X4eCS1Ds0Y
— Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) September 28, 2021
Hawley went on to dress down both Milley and Austin, and told them they should resign.
Josh Hawley tells Mark Milley, Lloyd Austin to resign pic.twitter.com/SAab4SPGiM
— Big League Politics (@bigleaguepol) September 28, 2021