The 3 apical U.S. defence officials person a 2nd time of legislature grounds connected Wednesday, this clip successful beforehand of the House Armed Services Committee.
Sept. 29, 2021, 6:30 a.m. ET
The Biden administration’s apical subject officials are acceptable connected Wednesday to look much questions from lawmakers astir the chaotic extremity of the warfare successful Afghanistan, a time aft a heated proceeding successful the Senate successful which they acknowledged that their proposal to President Biden not to retreat each troops from Afghanistan had gone unheeded.
Gen. Mark A. Milley, the president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, volition attest earlier the House Armed Services Committee, on with Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the caput of the military’s Central Command. They are expected to look akin questions astir the discussions they had with the president up of a chaotic evacuation past period successful which 13 U.S. work members died successful a termination bombing and 10 Afghan civilians were killed successful an American drone strike.
During an astatine times acrimonious Senate proceeding connected Tuesday, General Milley said that subject leaders had fixed their proposal to Mr. Biden successful the lead-up to the president’s April determination to withdraw. Those views, the wide said, had not changed since November, erstwhile helium had recommended that Mr. Trump support American troops successful Afghanistan.
But, the wide added, “Decision makers are not required, successful immoderate manner, signifier oregon form, to travel that advice.”
General Milley besides defended his actions successful the tumultuous past months of the Trump administration, insisting that calls to his Chinese counterpart and a gathering successful which helium told generals to alert him if the president tried to motorboat a atomic limb were portion of his duties arsenic the country’s apical subject officer.
Several Republican senators took General Milley to task some for his actions arsenic described successful the publication “Peril,” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post, and for talking astir those actions to the authors.
General Milley said helium was directed by Mark T. Esper, past the caput of defense, to telephone his Chinese counterpart connected Oct. 30 due to the fact that determination was “intelligence which caused america to judge the Chinese were disquieted astir an onslaught connected them by the United States.” He added that different elder U.S. officials, including Mike Pompeo, past caput of state, were alert of the calls.
“I know, I americium definite that President Trump did not mean to onslaught the Chinese, and it was my directed work by the caput to convey that intent to the Chinese,” helium said. “My task astatine that clip was to de-escalate. My connection again was consistent: enactment calm, dependable and de-escalate.”
Senators pressed the 3 men connected wherefore the Pentagon failed to foretell the accelerated illness of the Afghan authorities and Afghan military, wherefore the United States did not commencement evacuating Americans and susceptible Afghans sooner, and what the Pentagon was doing present to assistance the remaining Americans and Afghans who privation to permission the country.
Mr. Austin, a retired four-star Army wide who served successful Afghanistan, conceded that the illness of the Afghan service successful the last weeks of the warfare — successful galore cases without the Taliban firing a changeable — amazed apical commanders.
Understand the Taliban Takeover successful Afghanistan
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Who are the Taliban? The Taliban arose successful 1994 amid the turmoil that came aft the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan successful 1989. They utilized brutal nationalist punishments, including floggings, amputations and wide executions, to enforce their rules. Here’s much connected their root communicative and their grounds arsenic rulers.
“We failed to afloat grasp that determination was lone truthful overmuch for which — and for whom — galore of the Afghan forces would fight,” Mr. Austin said.
Democrats, similar Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, asked whether leaving troops successful Afghanistan for different twelvemonth would person made a difference. Mr. Austin said no.