Resigning over Afghanistan is too ‘political’ for Gen. Milley, who worked just fine with CIA, NSA & Democrats to resist Trump

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who reportedly worked with Democrats to sideline President Donald Trump after the January 6 riot, now says resigning over the Afghanistan pullout would be a political act.

Milley testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Central Command head General Kenneth McKenzie. The hours-long hearing focused on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan after a surprise Taliban takeover, and in particular the suicide attack at Kabul Airport’s Abbey Gate, in which 13 US troops were killed.

At one point early in the hearing, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) asked Milley why he hadn’t resigned, given that President Joe Biden clearly didn’t heed his advice about the withdrawal.

Milley responded that “resigning is a really serious thing, it’s a political act.”

“My dad didn’t get a choice to resign at Iwo Jima, and those kids there at Abbey Gate they don’t get a choice to resign. And I’m not going to turn my back on them,” Milley added, referring to the 1945 battle in the Pacific, and making it personal. “They can’t resign, so I’m not going to resign, there’s no way.”

He said Biden had no obligation to accept his advice, and that resigning just because of that would be “an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer.” 

“This country doesn’t want generals figuring out what orders we’re going to accept or not,” argued Milley.

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Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley at the Pentagon, September 1, 2021.
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According to a book published earlier this month, however, he had no such qualms when it came to going around Trump’s back – from telling his Chinese counterpart he would provide advance warning of any US strike, to working with the CIA, NSA, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and other Democrats to block the “crazy” Trump from any actions they deemed improper.

Milley and McKenzie both told the Senate they had advised Biden to keep at least 2,500 troops in Afghanistan after the designated pullout date, but he decided otherwise. That seemed to contradict what Biden had said in last month’s interview to ABC – one of the few times he took questions about Afghanistan – where he first said the advice was “split,” and then that he had no recollection of anyone suggesting to keep 2,500 troops. 

The White House rushed to highlight the “split” comment to deflect questions about whether Biden had lied or the generals committed perjury, but a lot of journalists remained unconvinced. 

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Gen. Mark Milley and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at hearing on military operations in Afghanistan on Capitol Hill
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The Washington-backed Afghan government had disintegrated by August 14. The last US planes left Kabul in the final minutes of August 30, leaving Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban. Biden described the evacuation as an extraordinary success.”

Trump thinks otherwise. During the hearing, he issued a statement that blamed the “botched and embarrassingly incompetent” withdrawal from Afghanistan solely on the Biden administration, and describing it as “developed by a child’s mind.”

Taking the troops out first while leaving American citizens and Afghan civilians behind was “one of the dumbest military moves in history,” the former president said.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) agreed with Trump’s sentiment, telling both Milley and Austin that they ought to resign over the Afghanistan mission that “can’t be called a success in any way, shape or form.”

“I think this mission was a catastrophe. I think there's no other way to say it. There has to be accountability. I respectfully submit it should begin with you,” said Hawley.

Meanwhile, a US Marine Corps officer who called for accountability by the top brass in a viral Facebook video was jailed on Monday, reportedly for violating the order to remain silent about the situation.

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller was relieved of duty as commander of a training battalion at Camp Lejeune after the video, then resigned his commission, but has now been detained and is awaiting a military court hearing.

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© Stuart Scheller / Facebook
US Marine who criticized Afghanistan withdrawal in viral video sent to the brig & awaiting trial

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