Nearly 90 retired generals and admirals wrote a letter demanding that Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Mark Milley resign from their roles immediately over the “events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan” that unfolded under their leadership in the Biden administration.
“What should have happened upon learning of the Commander in Chief’s (President Biden’s) plan to quickly withdraw our forces and close the important power projection base Bagram, without adequate plans and forces in place to conduct the entire operation in an orderly fashion?” they wrote. “As principal military advisors to the CINC/President, the SECDEF and CJCS should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms.”
“If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign. Conversely, if they did do everything within their ability to persuade the CINC/President to not hastily exit the country without ensuring the safety of our citizens and Afghans loyal to America, then they should have resigned in protest as a matter of conscience and public statement,” they 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 retired military commanders criticized the Biden administration for enabling the death and torture of Afghans that, they said, “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,” they continued. “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.”
The generals and admirals warned that America’s enemies would be more emboldened than ever as a result of the weakness displayed by the Biden administration. “China benefits the most followed by Russia, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and others,” they said. “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,” they continued. “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 86 former military leaders said that a “fundamental principle in the military is holding those in charge responsible and accountable for their actions or inactions,” which meant that Milley and Austin need to resign for “this tragic and avoidable debacle.”