US Military officials defended the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan as Senators asked them about the advice they gave President Joe Biden and whether they thought that advice was heard.
Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee asked Gen Mark Milley, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and US Central Command leader Gen Frank McKenzie about his previous assessment that the United States should have kept 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who served in Afghanistan, asked Gen Milley why he did not resign since he was only consulted on 25 August after the government in Kabul collapsed on 15 August.
“Resigning is a really serious thing, it’s a political act, resigning in protest,” Gen Milley said, adding that his job is to provide military advice but that the president doesn’t need to follow it.
“It would be an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign because my advice wasn’t taken. This country doesn’t want generals figuring what orders we’re going to accept and do or not,” he said.