Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley told the United States Senate that the withdrawal of troops and the evacuation of citizens from Afghanistan was a “logistical success but a strategic failure.”
Milley appeared alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S. Central Command Head General Kenneth Mackenzie at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 28 to deliver an assessment of the U.S. departure from Afghanistan, which is now under the control of the Taliban.
“It is obvious the war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted,” Milley said.
“I have no illusions who we are dealing with. It remains to be seen whether or not the Taliban can consolidate power, or if the country will further fracture into civil war,” Milley added.
Milley also told the senators that if the U.S. had stayed beyond the Aug. 31 deadline to try to evacuate more people, then “we would have been at war with the Taliban again,” adding that an additional 20,000 troops would be needed to retake the Bagram Air Base, the largest U.S. military base in the South Asian country.
Milley also said that the lesson to be taken from both Vietnam and Afghanistan was “don’t Americanize the war.”
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