Agencies: Gen. Mark Milley, the most senior U.S. military commander, defended his actions in the final months of the Trump administration and warned of the “very real possibility” that Al Qaeda and ISIS could rebuild in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
In testimony to lawmakers on Tuesday, Milley insisted that calls he made to his Chinese counterpart last year and a meeting in which he told U.S. generals to alert him if the president tried to launch a nuclear weapon were all part of his job as the country’s most senior military officer.
Top military officers acknowledged publicly for the first time that they had advised President Biden not to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. They said the collapse of the Afghan army took commanders by surprise.
Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that a reconstituted Al Qaeda or ISIS in Afghanistan “with aspirations to attack the United States is a very real possibility.” He added, “And those conditions, to include activity in ungoverned spaces, could present themselves in the next 12 to 36 months.”
Drone strike: After a Times investigation found that a U.S. drone strike in Kabul on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians, senators got a chance to ask top military officials directly what went wrong.