WASHINGTON (AP) — In their first congressional testimony on the tumultuous final months of America’s longest war, top United States military officers acknowledged on Tuesday misjudging the fragility of Afghanistan’s army and said that they believed the US should have kept at least several thousand troops in the country to prevent a rapid takeover by the Taliban.

Without saying what advice he had given US President Joe Biden last spring when Biden was considering whether to keep any troops in Afghanistan, Gen. Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it was his personal opinion that at least 2,500 were needed to guard against a collapse of the Kabul government.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, who as head of Central Command had overseen the final months of the US war, said that he agreed with Milley’s assessment. He also declined to say what he had recommended to Biden.

Milley cited “a very real possibility” that al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate could reconstitute in Afghanistan under Taliban rule and present a terrorist threat to the US in the next 12 to 36 months.

Sen. Tom Cotton asked Milley why he did not choose to resign after his advice was rejected.

Milley, who was appointed to his position as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by former US president Donald Trump and retained by Biden, said that it was his responsibility to provide the commander in chief with his best advice. READ MORE

Milley: Al-Qaeda may rebuild under Taliban, pose threat to US in 12 months  https://amos37.com/milley-al-qaeda-may-rebuild-under-taliban-pose-threat-to-us-in-12-months/

Josh Toupos

This post was originally published on this site