Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers Gen. Mark Milley and United States Central Command head Gen. Frank McKenzie mentioned their assessments that the US ought to preserve 2,500 troops in Afghanistan had been their private opinions, telling lawmakers they might not talk about their particular suggestions to President Biden.
Earlier feedback from Milley and McKenzie appeared to contradict remarks Biden made in an interview in mid-August, the place he disputed that army advisers informed him that he ought to maintain troops in Afghanistan after the withdrawal deadline.
Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin additionally informed lawmakers that he is aware of Biden “to be an trustworthy and forthright man.”
“Their enter was acquired by the President and regarded by the President, for certain. When it comes to what they particularly really helpful … they don’t seem to be going to offer what they really helpful in confidence,” Austin mentioned.
Milley informed lawmakers that his evaluation in fall 2020, which “remained constant all through,” was that the US ought to “maintain a gradual state” of two,500 troops.
“I don’t talk about precisely what my conversations are with the sitting President within the Oval Workplace, however I can inform you what my private opinion was, and I’m all the time candid,” he mentioned.
Milley added that at a gathering of prime army officers on Aug. 25, they “made a unanimous suggestion that we finish the army mission and transition to a diplomatic mission.”