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Former commander of US forces in Afghanistan disagreed with complete withdrawal, GOP senator says

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The former commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan said he disagreed with President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw the troops completely from the country, according to one Republican senator.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, discussed Gen. Scott Austin Miller’s view on the withdrawal plan on Tuesday night after the general testified in front of the committee in a closed-door session.

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“I’ll let you know we had quite an event with Gen. Miller, and he did say … that he opposed the effort that took place, and he did not tell the president that because the president wasn’t there, but he did talk to [Defense Secretary Lloyd] Austin, [U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Frank] McKenzie, and [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen.] Milley and told them that he had been opposed to the total withdrawal,” the senator from Oklahoma said in a statement.

The chaotic withdrawal is a common topic on Capitol Hill, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken also testifying in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week, which included calls for his resignation. Milley is set to testify with Austin and McKenzie in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 28.

As the Biden administration's planned Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline approached and troops already left Afghanistan, the Taliban quickly captured large swaths of the country and overthrew the U.S.-backed Afghan government. Upon the fall of Kabul, the U.S. and allied forces staged an evacuation effort for U.S. citizens and Afghan allies.

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Although the Western countries were able to evacuate more than 120,000 people in August, the United States left Afghanistan with the Taliban back in control of the country, sparking fears they could provide a haven to terrorist organizations and allow them to reorganize. A blast outside the Kabul airport, for which an ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility, killed 13 U.S. service members and scores of others.

Intelligence officials warned on Tuesday that al Qaeda could obtain the means to attack the U.S. homeland within a year or two.

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Tags: News, National Security, Jim Inhofe, Congress

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Former commander of US forces in Afghanistan disagreed with complete withdrawal, GOP senator says

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