Secretary Austin and General Mark Milley should resign immediately
We saw Joe Biden's horrible press conference. Sixty-nine percent of Americans disapprove of how he handled the recent debacle in Afghanistan. Who else was involved in this disaster? The first domino to fall in Afghanistan was caused by secretary of defense Lloyd Austin and chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Mark Milley. According to the AP on July 6, 2021:
The U.S. left Afghanistan's Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base's new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans' departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said.
The Afghan commander of Bagram Airfield tried to put a good face on the sudden withdrawal in the middle of the night, but it set the stage for the collapse of the Afghan military and the Taliban blitzkrieg in Afghanistan. Suddenly, the Afghan military that trusted us realized there would be no orderly withdrawal of American military forces. They could not even count on the Americans to leave the electricity on for the Afghan military as the Americans vanished into the night. The dominoes started falling quickly and soon led to Saigon 2.0 in Kabul.
Timelines are important. On June 23, 2021, less than two weeks before deserting our Afghan allies in the middle of the night, Sec. Austin and Gen. Milley testified before Congress. U.S. rep. Seth Wilbur Moulton, former Marine Corps officer, specifically asked both Sec. Austin and Gen. Milley about evacuation plans. Rep. Moulton made several poignant comments:
As we withdraw from Afghanistan, we have not seen an operational plan to save our brave Afghan partners and allies.
Mr. Secretary, I don't need to tell you this, but these brave Afghan partners, these Afghan and American heroes, people who we asked to risk their lives, not just for Afghanistan, but for America, because we had their backs. Their future is in your hands. This much is certain, the Taliban will kill them if they can and they will rape and murder their wives and kids first if they can. Chairman Milley, if the service chiefs were ordered to evacuate our Afghan allies today, is there a plan in place to get that started immediately?
Sec. Austin and Gen. Milley carefully parsed their evasive answers. They had their opportunity to speak up and object to the disaster that would soon unfold. They did not. They are either complicit or incompetent.
Sec. Austin and Gen. Milley did not have much to say about evacuation plans. However, both spent a lot of time defending their decisions on Critical Race Theory.
Rep. Gates commented:
I would particularly observe that on July 27th, 2019, Bishop Garrison tweeted regarding former President Trump, "He's dragging a lot of bad actors out into the sunlight, normalizing their actions," and here's the relevant part. "If you support the President, you support that. There is no room for nuance in this. There is no more, but I'm not like that talk," and then he replies to his own tweet with, what seems to be a very ethno nationalist hashtag, hashtag black 44. Could you enlighten us as to what advice Mr. Garrison has given you and are you concerned that while you testify publicly to our committee, that the department doesn't embrace critical race theory, you have hired someone who is precisely a critical race theorist?
This generated an interesting exchange:
This is the first I've ever heard Mr. Garrison be described as a critical race theorist, so this is new.
Did you review his Tweets before you hired him personally?
Did you review his tweets before you hired him?
I did not personally review his tweets.
Without being asked, Gen. Milley chimed in with this comment:
I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned non-commissioned officers, of being "woke."
I want to understand White rage. And I'm White.
Gen. Milley was personally offended enough to fend off criticism of being "woke" and boldly told everyone exactly what he thought. Why was Gen. Milley not as bold to speak up about the imminent plans to desert our Afghan allies in the middle of the night and push over the first domino that would soon lead to the collapse in Afghanistan? If Sec. Austin was bold enough to push back against questions about Critical Race Theory, why was he not bold enough to speak about the imminent desertion? As a former general, Sec. Austin should have comprehended the devastating effects desertion would have on our Afghan allies.
If Sec. Austin was clueless, Milley should have informed him. (The role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is codified in law at 10 U.S. Code §163). In late June, if Gen. Milley did not know what was about to happen in Afghanistan, he was derelict in his duties. If he did know and did nothing, he is complicit. If either of them knew and did not formally document his objections, the blood of thousands of innocent Afghans is on his hands.
American citizens and Afghans were deserted and left to the Taliban. The rage is just beginning. Gen. Milley was playing politics by virtue-signaling about Critical Race Theory and defending against being "woke." Instead, he should have been orchestrating an orderly withdrawal. Gen. Milley claimed he wanted to understand White rage. He will soon get an opportunity to understand not only "White Rage," but rage from many different races and ideologies.
I believe that both Sec. Austin and Gen. Milley are directly responsible for deserting our allies in the middle of the night, which led to the collapse of the Afghanistan military and government. As of late Tuesday, August 17:
National security officials in the Biden administration told a bipartisan group of Senate staffers on Tuesday that about 10,000 to 15,000 U.S. citizens remain in Afghanistan, according to two Senate aides.
Gen. Milley and Sec. Austin should resign immediately.
Full Disclosure: General Milley and I were once peers. I was also an officer and Green Beret assigned to 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Now I am ashamed of Mark Milley. He has disgraced the Green Beret, the Special Forces tab, and the motto of the Special Forces: De Oppresso Liber (Liberate the Oppressed).
Image via Pixabay.
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