Ninety retired military officers have written an open letter demanding the resignation of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, and Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, over the botched American exit from Afghanistan. On Aug. 31, Washington pulled out all its troops from the Taliban-controlled nation, leaving numerous American citizens and Afghan aides at the mercy of the terror outfit.
The letter claims that 15,000 Americans and 25,000 Afghans who supported U.S. forces are now stranded in “dangerous areas controlled by a brutal enemy.” It blamed Joe Biden for withdrawing forces and closing an “important power projection base” at Bagram without proper plans in place.
Lloyd and Milley “should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms. If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign. Conversely, if they did do everything within their ability to persuade the CINC/President to not hastily exit the country without ensuring the safety of our citizens and Afghans loyal to America, then they should have resigned in protest as a matter of conscience and public statement,” the letter said.
The former military officers warned that the consequences of the disastrous Afghanistan exit “will reverberate for decades.” Stranded Americans and Afghan aides will now become hostages of the Taliban. The letter called the loss of billions of dollars worth of American military equipment “catastrophic.”
The damage to the U.S. reputation is “indescribable” as America might be seen as an “unreliable power” for many years. America’s adversaries like communist China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea might be emboldened to act against the United States due to the “weakness displayed in Afghanistan.”
The letter also criticized the emphasis on “wokeness” related training. It accused such measures of being “divisive and harmful to unit cohesion, readiness, and war fighting capability.” It stated that the sole focus of America’s military leaders should be to “fight and win our nation’s wars.”
“A fundamental principle in the military is holding those in charge responsible and accountable for their actions or inactions. There must be accountability at all levels for this tragic and avoidable debacle,” the letter concluded.
Many more people have called for resignations, including that of President Joe Biden. “52% of Voters Think Biden Should Resign Over Afghanistan Withdrawal,” tweeted Rasmussen Reports.
In an interview with a radio station, Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville stated that the botched Afghanistan exit was largely a leadership issue. He said that Washington had retreated based on the Taliban’s terms rather than its own. The senator predicted that the American military might have to go back to Afghanistan during Biden’s tenure. He called for a court-martial to be held.
“I know just by hearing that, a lot of these generals said, let’s not leave Bagram Airbase until we get everybody out. But for some reason, this president, and him alone, made the decision to come out. And there’s going to be people hollering for 25th Amendment and impeachment. We don’t need to get in those weeds. If we go anywhere, somebody needs to be court-martialed over this because we’ve got people killed that did not have to die,” Tuberville said.
Biden justified the Afghanistan exit by insisting that alternative choices were not in the interest of America. “I simply do not believe that the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops and spending billions of dollars a year in Afghanistan,” Biden said in an Aug. 31 statement.
The president also claimed that 90 percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave have fled the country. He added that Washington is committed to getting the remaining people out if they want to do so.
Republican Kevin McCarthy criticized Biden for handing over “billions of dollars in American military weaponry” to the Taliban. He said that the terror outfit now has more Blackhawk helicopters than Australia. “In many ways, we’re less safe now than before 9/11,” McCarthy tweeted.
According to the State Department and Pentagon, around 5,400 to 6,000 Americans were pulled out from Afghanistan. The State Department estimates that somewhere around 100 to 200 Americans were left-back in the country.
However, the numbers do not add up. On Aug. 17, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that there were 11,000 Americans trapped in Afghanistan. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby put the number to be between 10,000 and 15,000. In an interview with Breitbart, Republican Ronny Jackson dismisses the administration’s claim that there are only a couple hundred U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan.
“This was their conservative number, their low number that they were trying to make it look like wasn’t as bad as everybody was picturing it to be… They said there was probably 10,000 to 15,000 over there. If there was 10,000 to 15,000 over there and they got 5,000 to 6,000 thousand out, then we have more than 100 to 200 left, right?” Jackson said.