US military officials admit 'miscalculations' in Afghanistan

On September 28, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley jointly testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee and answered tough questions about the US Senate Armed Services Committee. situation in Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation from the international airport in the country's capital, Kabul.

U.S. soldiers assist people to evacuate from Afghanistan, at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul August 18, 2021. Photo: AFP
U.S. soldiers assist people to evacuate from Afghanistan, at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul August 18, 2021. Photo: AFP

At the six-hour hearing, Secretary Lloyd Austin said the sudden collapse of the Afghan army caught the Pentagon by surprise. "The fact that the Afghan army that we and our training partners have been training with has collapsed so quickly, in many cases they haven't even fired a single shot, that surprises us," Austin said. According to Austin, it would be dishonest to make another comment about the collapse of the Afghan army.

Secretary Lloyd Austin admitted "miscalculations" in America's longest war, including corruption among the Afghan government leadership. He also praised US forces for evacuating 124,000 Afghans, though he acknowledged the process was "imperfect".

Meanwhile, General Mark Milley said he has determined since the end of 2020 that a rapid US withdrawal from Afghanistan without meeting specific conditions risks undermining the gains made in the country. This Southwest Asia, even leading to the downfall of the Afghan army and government, sparks a civil war or the Taliban take power. Mr. Milley insists his assessments are always consistent, should not set specific time frames, but set conditions.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff also warned that the possibility of Al-Qaeda's terrorist organization regrouping in Afghanistan and plotting to attack the US was "a very real possibility", even even within the next 12 months. "I have no illusions about who we are dealing with," General Mark Milley said.

Speaking of the US's credibility with global allies and partners after withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, General Mark Milley said it was "damaged", but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin assessed Washington's credibility was still strong. sure.

Under the plan, the Senate and House committees overseeing the military conduct hearings from September 28-29. In addition to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, the commander of US Central Command Frank McKenzie will also testify. Observers expect Republican lawmakers to focus on accusations of wrongdoing by President Joe Biden's administration in ending the long and costly war in Afghanistan.

Both General Mark Milley and General Kenneth McKenzie claimed to have personally recommended to President Joe Biden to keep about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan after the August 31 deadline to withdraw, due to concerns about the Taliban. has not yet severed ties with Al-Qaeda.

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