Daily US Times: Two top US generals, Gen Mark Milley and Gen Frank McKenzie, have said they recommended keeping a force of 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, ahead of the full US withdrawal in August.
Testimony by the generals to Congress seemed to contradict President Joe Biden, who said he didn’t recall any such advice.
The Taliban took control in Afghanistan in August, after rapidly advancing through the country.
Gen Milley said the United States had been taken by surprise by the speed of the Afghan government’s collapse.
The two top US generals were questioned by the Senate armed services committee along with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday.
Gen McKenzie was the head of US Central Command oversaw the withdrawal from Kabul,
The hearing comes weeks after a chaotic withdrawal at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Internationa Airport as foreign powers sought to get their citizens home and thousands of desperate Afghans begged for rescue.
A suicide attack killed 182 people during the withdrawal operation, including 13 US service personnel and at least 169 Afghans were killed by the airport gate on 26 August.
Gen McKenzie said under questioning from Republican senators that he recommended keeping a small force of 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.
This appears to contradict President Biden’s assertion to an ABC journalist on 19 August that he didn’t recall anyone giving him such advice.
Gen Milley said that he agreed with the recommendation, but when asked whether Mr Biden’s comments were “a false statement”, he refused to give a direct answer.
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