The list of retired admirals and generals demanding resignations from Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Mark Milley has grown significantly in the last few days, going from under 90 just a few days ago to ballooning to 130 by Thursday.
The retired admirals and generals said that both Milley and Austin need to resign “based on negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
The letter noted the numerous U.S. citizens and Afghan allies, including the man who helped rescue then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) in 2008 when his helicopter was forced to land in a dangerous area in Afghanistan due to severe weather, who had been left behind by the administration when they pulled out of the country earlier this week.
The Flag Officers said that Milley and Austin should have strongly pushed back on Biden’s plans and, if Biden refused to heed their warnings about what would happen, they should have immediately resigned and made a public statement about the matter.
The letter continued:
The consequences of this disaster are enormous and will reverberate for decades beginning with the safety of Americans and Afghans who are unable to move safely to evacuation points; therefore, being de facto hostages of the Taliban at this time. The death and torture of Afghans has already begun and will result in a human tragedy of major proportions. The loss of billions of dollars in advanced military equipment and supplies falling into the hands of our enemies is catastrophic. The damage to the reputation of the United States is indescribable. We are now seen, and will be seen for many years, as an unreliable partner in any multinational agreement or operation. Trust in the United States is irreparably damaged.
Moreover, now our adversaries are emboldened to move against America due to the weakness displayed in Afghanistan. China benefits the most followed by Russia, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and others. Terrorists around the world are emboldened and able to pass freely into our country through our open border with Mexico.
Besides these military operational reasons for resignations, there are leadership, training, and morale reasons for resignations. In interviews, congressional testimony, and public statements it has become clear that top leaders in our military are placing mandatory emphasis on PC “wokeness” related training which is extremely divisive and harmful to unit cohesion, readiness, and war fighting capability. Our military exists to fight and win our Nation’s wars and that must be the sole focus of our top military leaders.
The 130 former admirals and generals who signed onto the letter are not the only retired Flag Officers to demand resignations from Milley and Austin.
“I think it’s very fair to ask for accountability for senior leaders, and that includes the military leaders as well as the national security advisor and the secretary of state. Somebody needs to be held accountable,” Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Keith Kellogg told Fox News on Tuesday. “I think it’s up to them to resign. If not, I think the president should remove them. It would help the American people if he changed out his national security team because we don’t know what ground truth is.”
Kellogg noted that President Biden said this week that it was “the unanimous recommendation of the Joint Chiefs and of all of our commanders on the ground to end our airlift mission as planned.”
“If it was unanimous, that means all of them are accountable for the action,” Kellogg said. “If they all thought it was a good idea and it’s a bad idea, then maybe they should all leave.”