US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin instructed Congress on Tuesday that the Afghan military’s sudden collapse caught the Pentagon off-guard as he acknowledged miscalculations in America’s longest battle together with corruption and broken morale in Afghan ranks.
“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,” Mr Austin instructed the Senate Armed Providers Committee. “It would be dishonest to claim otherwise.”
Mr Austin was talking at first of two days of what are anticipated to be among the most contentious hearings in reminiscence over the chaotic finish to the battle in Afghanistan, which value the lives of US troops and civilians and left the Taliban again in energy. The Senate and Home committees overseeing the US navy are holding hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, the place Republicans are hoping to zero in on what they see as errors that President Joe Biden’s administration made towards the top of the two-decade-old battle. It follows comparable questioning two weeks in the past that noticed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken staunchly defending the administration, at the same time as he confronted requires his resignation. Mr Austin praised American personnel who helped airlift 124,000 Afghans overseas, an operation that additionally value the lives of 13 US troops and scores of Afghans in a suicide bombing exterior the Kabul airport.
“Was it perfect? Of course not,” Mr Austin mentioned, noting the determined Afghans who killed making an attempt to climb the aspect of a US navy plane or the civilians killed within the final US drone strike of the battle. Senator James Inhofe, the Senate Armed Providers Committee’s prime Republican, squarely blamed the Biden administration for what critics say was a shameful finish to a 20-year endeavour.
Mr Inhofe mentioned Mr Biden ignored the suggestions of his navy leaders and left many People behind after the US
“We all witnessed the horror of the president’s own making,” Mr Inhofe mentioned of Afghanistan. Most of the hardest questions could fall to the 2 senior US navy commanders testifying: Military Common Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, and Marine Common Frank McKenzie, head of US
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