Mothers handing over their babies in search for a better life. Hundreds queuing to board airplanes with just one suitcase theyve gone through pull out was a disaster to say the least, and pentagon leaders were grilled in the congress over the withdrawal. Listen in is it true that we actually did tabletop exercises and we never assumed that there could be an immediate collapse of the afghan government. We poured money and support and air cover and the afghan government continued to fail. The situation was deteriorating rapidly by july. Why was an action taken to secure the kabul airport once president biden made the decision to have u.s forces leave the country who designed the evacuation? Worst of all 13 brave americans were killed in the evacuation. We told our interpreters our driver that we would not abandon them and thats exactly what we did, but if all this is true, general milly, why havent you resigned now here are some of the main takeaways from the session. The first is that the pentagon says the taliban was and is a terror group. This now raises the question about americas ties with the taliban. Secondly, the taliban have not broken their ties with the al qaeda. The 2020 doha agreement had specifically asked the taliban to sever ties with al qaeda. Another pentagon says that those links are intact. The leaders admitted that the threat of a reconstituted al qaeda is very real. They also hinted at the possibility of more attacks by al qaeda and isis kurassen, a reconstituted al qaeda or isis with aspirations to attack.

The united states is a very real possibility and those conditions to include activity in ungoverned spaces could present themselves in the next 12 to 36 months. That mission will be much harder now, but not impossible, and we will continue to protect the american people. Thirdly, the pentagon wanted to retain a small military presence in afghanistan. General mark malay had proposed keeping 2 500 troops in the country. The centcom commander was also in favor of maintaining military presence. The testimony of both the leaders were, in contrast with that of biden in mid august, where he disputed that military advisers told him that he should keep troops in afghanistan after the withdrawal deadline. Now senator tom cotton asked two military leaders about this. It seems there was some sort of delay in relaying military advice to president biden. Listen speaking to you today, roosevelt general milly uh, joe biden, has said that it was the unanimous, the unanimous recommendation of the joint chiefs that we not maintain a military presence beyond august 31st. Weve heard testimony of that effect today as well. When was that unanimous recommendation sought and presented to the president youre talking about the 31 august, the 31 august deadline on 25 august, i was asked to make an assessment and provide best military advice. Im. Sorry, my time is limited here. Get you gave me the answer that i needed here. August 25th. Correct couple fell on august 15th, thats correct. You were not asked before august 2016.

On august 25th, i was asked to provide best military assessment of whether we should keep military forces past the 31st secretary austin. Was anybody asked before august 25th if we should keep troops at the kabul airport? This is uh. The president tasked us to tonight to provide an assessment on whether or not uh. We should extend our presence uh beyond august 31st and as general milly just said, that assessment was uh was made. We tasked them to make that assessment on the 25th and uh. He came back and provided his best military advice. Secretary kabul fell on august 15th. It was clear that we had thousands of america. Its clear members of this committee were getting phone calls that we had thousands of americans in afghanistan behind taliban lines on august 15th and it took 10 days to ask these general officers. If we should extend our president. I suspect the answer might be a little different. If you were asking them 16 days out, not five days out, also, the leaders admitted the failure of u.s intelligence. The u.s turned a blind eye to the corruption in the government missing out any intel that predicted the failure of the afghan army. The doha agreement was also in focus with austin, saying that president biden saw no future progress in the doha negotiations. We helped build a state, mr chairman, but we could not forge a nation. The fact that the afghan army that we and our partners trained simply melted away in many cases without firing a shot, took us all by surprise, and it would be dishonest to claim.

Otherwise. We need to consider some uncomfortable truth that we didnt fully comprehend the depth of corruption and poor leadership in the senior ranks that we didnt grasp. The damaging effect affect the frequent and unexplained rotations by president ghani of his commanders that we didnt anticipate the snowball reflect effect caused by the deals that the taliban commanders struck with local leaders in a wake of the doha agreement and that the doha agreement itself had A demoralizing effect on afghan soldiers, another key takeaway was the divide of the pentagon. While general mili said chairman reid, ranking member said that the credibility had taken a hit pentagon chief, lloyd austin maintained that it was solid and intact, but he did admit the failure of the us intelligence in the kabul drone strike. He said that the strike had taken 10 innocent lives of the afghan capital. The u.s central command head also said that he took full responsibility for the strike. Remember vyon has been questioning pentagon claims since the day of the strike beyond anasmalik even talked to the victim skin, who called for justice austin even said that he has not yet reached out to the aircrew operating the aircraft, but that the incident is under a three Star review by the military and ira spritzer has more on this from san francisco lets. Listen in generals mark milley and kenneth mckenzie, along with defense secretary, lloyd, austin all appeared before a u.s senate committee to talk about the u.

s withdrawal from afghanistan. Both of the generals said they advised president biden to leave at least 2 500 american troops in the country that appeared to contradict what we heard from biden himself during a televised interview in august, in which he denied being advised to leave american troops on the ground. The white house press secretary, jen sachi, responded to that testimony, saying that while biden values the candid advice from the military, that doesnt mean that he always agrees with it. The taliban quickly took over much of afghanistan in the weeks and months preceding the u.s withdrawal before finally taking over essentially the entire country as soon as american troops left afghanistan. One of the most contentious issues from the hearing actually had nothing to do with afghanistan. Republican lawmakers repeatedly attacked general milley over recent revelations that hed held calls with chinese leaders during the final months of donald trumps presidency, assuring them that the u.s had no plans to attack china beyond is now available in your country.