From Fox News:
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie arrived on the other side of Capitol Hill Wednesday for their second day of testimony on the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan – this time, before the House Armed Services Committee.
Austin, Milley and McKenzie are set to testify Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET. The trio faced a full day of questioning from lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday in open and closed sessions.
There are 59 members on the House Armed Services Committee. Each member will be given five minutes to ask questions. Austin, Milley and McKenzie each have an allotted five minutes to deliver opening statements at the beginning of the hearing.
Milley’s and McKenzie’s testimony put the White House on defense Tuesday after they testified that they assessed that the U.S. should maintain a presence of at least 2,500 troops in Afghanistan despite President Biden’s claims to the contrary.
“I won’t share my personal recommendation to the president, but I will give you my honest opinion and my honest opinion and view shaped my recommendation,” McKenzie testified. “And I recommended that we maintain 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.”
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.”
Read the full report at Fox News.
BIDEN: ‘I Have Great Confidence in General Milley’
President Biden defended General Milley Wednesday after a new book claims he breached military protocol during the final days of the Trump administration, saying he has “great confidence” in his commander.
“I have great confidence in General Milley,” Biden responded to reporters Wednesday.
“What I can assure you all is that [President Biden] knows General Milley, he has been chairman of the Joint Chiefs for almost eight months of his presidency, they’ve worked side by side through a range of international events, and the president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki added.
“The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia. These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict,” the statement said.
“His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” added a spokesperson. “All calls from the chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.”
Read the full report at the New York Post.
GENERAL MILLEY: ‘It is Obvious the War in Afghanistan Did Not End on the Terms We Wanted’
General Mark Milley -the nation’s top military officer- addressed Congress Tuesday where he was asked to comment on Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, telling lawmakers it is “obvious” the war did not end the way we wanted.
“It is clear. It is obvious. The war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted, with the Taliban now in power in Kabul,” Milley told legislators.
A new survey from Morning Consult spells more bad news for Joe Biden, with roughly 6 in 10 saying the country has “seriously gone off on the wrong track.”
“The study, conducted from Saturday to Monday, found that 61 percent of respondents believe the country is on the wrong track, compared to just 39 percent who say the country is ‘going in the right direction,’” reports The Hill.
“The survey also found a record-low overall approval rating for Biden at 47 percent, with 49 percent saying they disapproved of the president’s job performance overall,” adds the website.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 23, 2021
— The Hill (@thehill) September 23, 2021
Watch Milley’s remarks above.