The Afghan war was a ‘strategic failure’, General Milli said


US Army General Mark A. Milli answers questions from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during a House Armed Services Committee hearing at the end of the military operation in Afghanistan on September 29, 2021, at the Rayburn House Office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Yes, DC. AFP

Washington: The top US general on Wednesday acknowledged that the Afghan war was a “strategic failure” and ended in defeat.

“It is clear to all of us that the war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted,” said General Mark Millie, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The war was a strategic failure,” Milli told the hearing committee on the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the withdrawal of chaos from the capital, Kabul.

“It’s not lost in the last 20 days or 20 months,” Milli said.

“Strategic decisions have an overall effect,” said President Joe Biden’s top military adviser-general, ordering an end to the 20-year presence of US troops in Afghanistan.

“Every time you see an event like a war that is lost – and that’s because we’ve done our strategic job of protecting the United States against al Qaeda, but certainly not the last state.” It’s very different from what we wanted, “said Millie.

“So whenever there is an incident like this, there are a lot of factors,” he said. “And we have to figure it out. There are a lot of lessons learned here.”

Milli cited a number of factors responsible for the US defeat in Tora Bora in the wake of the capture or assassination of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

He also referred to the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, which drove US troops out of Afghanistan and expelled advisers from Afghanistan a few years ago.

Biden ordered the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by August 31, following an agreement reached with US President Donald Trump and the Taliban in April.

The commander of the US Central Command, Milli, and General Kenneth McKenzie told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he had personally recommended that about 2,500 troops remain on the ground in Afghanistan.

White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie said Biden had received “divisive” advice on what to do in Afghanistan, which was attacked by the United States on September 11, 2001, after al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.

“Ultimately, it’s up to the Commander-in-Chief to make that decision,” Saki said. “He decided it was time to end the 20-year war.”

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