Top US general calls Afghan war 'strategic failure'

General Mark Milley
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General Mark Milley

Highlights

General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said during a Senate hearing that it is a "strategic failure" with the Taliban back in power and US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Washington: General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said during a Senate hearing that it is a "strategic failure" with the Taliban back in power and US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Milley, alongside Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and US Central Command head Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, testified for the first time before Congress since the United States ended its longest war in Afghanistan, Xinhua news agency reported.

"It is obvious, the war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted, with the Taliban now in power in Kabul," Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. "Strategically, the war is lost, the enemy is in Kabul. So you have a strategic failure while you simultaneously have an operational and tactical success," he said, referring to the massive personnel evacuation since mid-August.

Milley and McKenzie said they believed the US should maintain 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, and a quick drawdown from the country could lead to a collapse of the Afghan government and military. Such comments seemed to contradict President Joe Biden's words in an interview last month, in which he said no military officials advised him to keep troops in Afghanistan after the withdrawal deadline. Meanwhile, Milley and Pentagon chief Austin stressed that the sudden collapse of the Afghan military was beyond their expectation.

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