The Taliban takeover caught the Pentagon off guard, said to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
THE US DEFENSE SECRETARY TOLD CONGRESS that the abrupt fall of the Afghan army earlier this year caught the Pentagon off guard.
Members of Congress questioned Lloyd Austin, 68, about the Taliban takeover on Tuesday. “The fact that the Afghan army we and our partners trained simply melted away – in many cases without firing a shot – took us all by surprise,” the former four-star general stated in his first public congressional testimony since the Jihadists gained control of Afghanistan. “It would be dishonest to claim otherwise,” he continued. When admitting that the Pentagon had to deal with some issues, “”That we didn’t completely appreciate the degree of corruption and weak leadership in the [Afghan army’s] senior echelons,” Mr Austin stated.
“That we were unaware of the negative consequences of President Ghani’s frequent and inexplicable commander rotations.
“We didn’t expect the snowball effect of the Taliban’s arrangements with local leaders in the aftermath of the Doha Accord.”
President Joe Biden’s popularity has already suffered as a result of the failed US pullout of Afghanistan, which resulted in the deaths of 13 US servicemen in a suicide attack at Kabul airport.
In terms of approval ratings, the 46th President has taken a hit.
Biden has a net approval rating of -17 percent in the most recent Rasmussen poll.
Mr. Biden is now trailing his predecessor in the White House, Donald Trump, in several head-to-head surveys.
Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 presidential election, receiving 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232.
Generals Mark Milley and Frank McKenzie’s congressional contributions might put the President in even more hot water.
Milley and McKenzie believe that keeping a minimum of 2,500 troops in the country would have been a much better approach for the US.
Biden publicly denied in August that his officers had asked him to keep troops in the region.
“I don’t recall anyone saying it to me,” he replied.
But, according to Mr. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, military experts have warned that Afghanistan could fall by late 2020.
He answered, “That was a year ago.”
“Throughout, my assessment stayed consistent.”