General Mark Milley: The Afghan war is a strategic failure for us
WASHINGTON – The US Army lost the war in Afghanistan despite completing some of its missions, said Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
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“This war was a strategic failure for us. But we did not lose it in the last 20 days or even in the last 20 months,” he said at a hearing in the US Senate, explaining that the reasons for the failure are far in the past.
Milli stressed that the United States managed to crack down on the terrorist group Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but the United States could not prevent the Taliban from coming to power there.
“It is clear to all of us that the war in Afghanistan did not end the way we wanted: the Taliban are in power in Kabul,” the military leader said.
In his opinion, the United States made a series of wrong strategic decisions, which together led to the failure of the entire military operation in Afghanistan.
At the hearings, many congressmen urged the US Army to learn from what had happened so as not to repeat the same mistakes in the future. Milley and the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, promised to do so.
Republican congressmen sought to prove that the main blame for the fact that Afghanistan is now in the power of the Taliban lies with the administration of US President Joe Biden. Democratic congressmen, in turn, expressed the opinion that all the US administrations that have worked in the past 20 years, and not just Biden, are responsible for the failure.
At the same time, Milley and the head of the US Central Command, Frank McKenzie, noted that they had advised the White House to leave 2,500 US military personnel in Afghanistan for some time, but were not heard.
White House spokesman Jen Psaki said in a briefing on Wednesday that Biden listened to different points of view on the topic and ultimately decided to withdraw the troops completely. She did not specify exactly who gave the president such advice.
The US administration usually tries not to call what happened in Afghanistan a defeat: as a rule, officials say that the main goal – the fight against al-Qaeda is accomplished and therefore there was no point in leaving troops on Afghan territory.
The situation in Afghanistan
After a 20-year presence on August 31, US troops left Afghanistan. According to US President Joe Biden, the United States has done what it set out to do: eliminate the al Qaeda terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a center of terrorism.
His words do not correspond to reality. According to a US intelligence report, at least 20 small terrorist groups are currently operating in Afghanistan, radicalized over the past 20 years due to the foreign presence. Various reports suggest al-Qaeda terrorists are joining the Taliban and Islamic State will establish a presence in Afghanistan.
Earlier, the same US report said that Kabul would collapse within six months, but the US president withheld this information. He tried hard to convince the public that there was no such option in front of Afghanistan and cited the thousands of troops and equipment of the Asian country. Despite Joe Biden’s “optimism,” the Taliban took over almost the entire country within a month and entered Kabul. Former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
At present, there is only one territory left in Afghanistan that has not been conquered by the Taliban, and that is the province of Panjshir. Anti-Taliban forces and Afghan soldiers have positioned themselves in it. The anti-Taliban coalition is led by Ahmad Massoud.
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