During the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Gen Milley stated that America’s credibility on the world stage is “damaged” by the deadly Afghan evacuation. However, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin disagrees. He claims America’s credibility “remains solid.”
“I think ‘damaged’ is one word that could be used, yes,” Milley said when asked if America’s credibility is damaged.
Austin gave a different answer; he said, “I think our credibility remains solid,” when asked a similar question.
The contrasting answers indicate Milley is alienated from Biden and his administration, which includes Austin.
Austin threw Milley under the bus by suggesting military leaders were surprised over the swift takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.
“We helped build a state, Mr. Chairman, but we could not forge a nation,” Austin said. “The fact that the Afghan army that we and our partners trained simply melted away – in many cases without firing a shot – took us all by surprise. And it would be dishonest to claim otherwise.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asked the general why he had not yet resigned. “General Milley, I can only conclude that your advice about staying in Afghanistan was rejected,” Cotton began about Biden not seeking Milley’s advice.
“I’m shocked to learn that your advice wasn’t sought until August 25 on staying past the August 31 deadline. I understand that you’re the principal military adviser, but you don’t decide, the president decides, but if all this is true, General Milley, why haven’t you resigned?” Cotton asked.
“Senator, as a senior military officer, resigning is a really serious thing. It’s a political act if I’m resigning in protest,” said Milley. “I’m not going to resign. If the orders were illegal, that’s different. But if they’re legal from a civilian authority, I intend to carry them out.”