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Later Tuesday, President Joe Biden is due to address the nation about the completion of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, confirmed earlier by the Pentagon.
Ninety retired US generals and admirals urged Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to step down following ‘disastrous’ exit of US troops from Afghanistan .
In an open letter published on Monday, the signatories stressed that their call for the resignation and retirement of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is “based on negligence in the exercise of their functions mainly involving events surrounding “the withdrawal of troops.
The letter notes that Milley and Austin should have advised President Joe Biden against the withdrawal, adding that if the two did not “do everything in their power to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign.”
Referring to the implications of the “hasty retreat,” the signatories pointed out that it “left initial estimates at around 15,000 Americans stranded in dangerous areas controlled by a brutal enemy with around 25,000 Afghan citizens supporting the forces. American ”.
© REUTERS / JIM YOUNG
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley speak during the 119th Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the United States on 8 december 2018
“The consequences of this disaster are enormous and will reverberate for decades, starting with the safety of Americans and Afghans who cannot move safely to evacuation points. […]The loss of billions of dollars in state-of-the-art military equipment and supplies falling into the hands of our enemies is catastrophic, ”the document said.
The signatories also argued that the damage to the reputation of the United States following the troop withdrawal is “indescribable”.
“We are now seen, and will be seen for many years to come, as an unreliable partner in any multinational deal or operation. Trust in the United States is irreparably damaged,” the letter stressed.
In conclusion, the document recalled “a fundamental principle in the military” which stipulates “to hold those responsible and accountable for their actions or inactions”.
© AP Photo / Alex Brandon
In this August 18, 2021 photo, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pauses during a speech at a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington.
“There must be a responsibility at all levels for this tragic and avoidable debacle”, underlined the signatories, referring to the exit of the troops.
The letter comes as the US Department of Defense on Monday announced that all US troops had left Afghanistan, a day before the August 31 deadline set earlier by Biden, who has been repeatedly criticized for his handling. withdrawal of troops.
Many Republicans have already called for the impeachment of POTUS on this issue, while the 46th President made it clear earlier this month that his decision to comply with the 2020 US-Taliban * peace agreement would not be stopped.
According to Biden, he had no intention of handing the war over to another US president or sending US forces to fight the Taliban when even Afghan forces willingly let the militant group take control of the nation.
On August 15, the Taliban entered the capital Kabul and seized power in Afghanistan after a months-long offensive, which took place against the backdrop of the departure of US and NATO troops from the country.
* The Taliban are a banned terrorist group in Russia and many other countries.