From Fox News:
Top military officials on Tuesday testified that they assessed that the U.S. should maintain a presence of at least 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin admitting that their input was “received” by President Biden, despite Biden’s claims to the contrary.
Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday for a public hearing on the Biden administration’s chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
McKenzie and Milley both testified that they recommended maintaining a presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
“I won’t share my personal recommendation to the president, but I will give you my personal assessment,” Milley testified. “My assessment was we should keep a steady state of 2500 troops.”
“I do share that assessment,” said General McKenzie.
Last month, Joe Biden claimed that no military leader advised him to leave a small troop presence in Afghanistan.
Today, General Milley and General McKenzie both confirmed their recommendation that 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan.
Which is it? pic.twitter.com/3Tnw1a6V4q
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) September 28, 2021
McKenzie said he made a similar recommendation in the fall of 2020 under the Trump administration, which also had intentions to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, saying, at the time, he recommended the U.S. maintain at least 4,000 troops.
“I also have a view that the withdrawal of those forces would lead inevitably to the collapse of the Afghan military forces and eventually the Afghan government,” McKenzie testified.
Milley was also pressed on the matter, saying that while he would not share his “personal” recommendations made to the president, his assessment was, “back in the fall of 2020, and remained consistent throughout, that we should keep a steady state of 2,500 and it could bounce up to 3,500, maybe, something like that, in order to move toward a negotiated solution.”
Biden and White House officials have said repeatedly that no military leaders advised him to leave a small military presence behind, with the president, himself, telling ABC News in August that “no one” recommended a 2,500 troop presence that he could “recall.”
Austin was asked whether the president received the personal recommendations from his top military advisers like Milley and McKenzie.
Read the full report at Fox News.
??????: Biden Launches Incoherent 3-Minute Rant Over Whether Americans Can Get Out of Afghanistan
President Biden held a disastrous press briefing Friday when he finally took answers from the media; launching into a three-minute rant about whether Americans can safely reach the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“You said there’s no circumstances where American citizens cannot get to the airport. That doesn’t square with the reporting on the ground. Are you saying any American who wants to get to the airport can get there?” asked one reporter.
“I thought the question was, how can they get through the airport, outside the airport, the answer is, to the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints, they are letting through, people […] That’s why we had to, I guess yesterday, or the day before? We went over the wall, and brought in, how many?” said the Commander-in-Chief.
“My guess is, no matter what, under what circumstances, we, anyone, there’s not a whole lot of Afghanis, there’s a whole lot of Afghanis who just as soon come to America,” he concluded.
A report from Reuters highlights the scope of the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan as the agency claims the Taliban now control 2,000 American-made vehicles and between 30 and 40 aircraft.
“U.S. officials tell Reuters that the current intelligence indicates that the Taliban control at least 2,000 U.S.-made armored vehicles, between 30 and 40 aircraft and an untold number of small arms,” writes a reporter from the global news agency.
“Joe Biden creates the Taliban Army and Air Force,” posted former Trump official Richard Grenell on Twitter.
Watch the bizarre comments above.
ABANDONED in AFGHANISTAN: US Embassy Posts Dire Message, ‘Don’t Rely on the US Government’
The US Embassy in Afghanistan posted a dire message on its official webpage Tuesday, saying the office has “suspended operations” and Americans can no longer rely on “United States government assistance.”
“The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021. While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar,” states the memo.
“The Embassy will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), the Embassy web page, Travel.State.Gov, and Facebook and Twitter. Consular services remain available outside Afghanistan. To locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate click here,” adds the warning.
“Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance,” warns the message.
Latest security alert on US Embassy In Afghanistan website: “Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.” pic.twitter.com/d2DujvpSZ2
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) August 31, 2021
Read the full memo below:
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021. While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar.
The Embassy will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), the Embassy web page, Travel.State.Gov, and Facebook and Twitter. Consular services remain available outside Afghanistan. To locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate click here.
The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens still in country should:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
to receive security updates and ensure you can be located in an emergency.
- Review your personal security plans.
- Be aware of your surroundings and local security developments at all times.
- Keep a low profile.
- Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans.
- Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Monitor local media.
- Please review, “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis.”
Resources for U.S. citizens in Afghanistan:
- State Department – Consular Affairs Afghanistan Call Center
833-741-2777 or 606-260-4379
- Embassy Citizens’ Services Page
- Afghanistan Country Information
- Afghanistan Travel Advisory
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
- Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Afghanistan.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to ensure you receive Alerts and other information
For information on Special Immigrant Visas see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/special-immg-visa-afghans-employed-us-gov.html