Sworn testimony before the Senate forced them to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" about the consequences of an accelerated withdrawal of all US troops.
Washington DC, Sept.28.– Top generals told lawmakers Tuesday that they previously recommended keeping around 2,500 U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan, contradicting earlier statements by President Biden that no one had advised him against a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country last month.
In sworn testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, both said they assessed as early as last fall that an accelerated withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan would likely cause the Western-backed Afghan government and military to collapse.
While both generals declined to comment on their specific recommendations to the president, they indicated that their personal views on how many U.S. troops should remain in Afghanistan were communicated to then-President Donald Trump as well as to Biden.
“In the fall of 2020, my analysis was that an accelerated withdrawal without meeting specific and necessary conditions risks losing the substantial gains made in Afghanistan, damaging U.S. worldwide credibility, and could precipitate a collapse of the [Afghan National Security Forces] and the Afghan government, resulting in a complete Taliban takeover or general civil war,” Milley said in his opening statement to the committee.
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