Headline RoundupSeptember 29th, 2021

Perspectives: Military Leaders' Testimony on Afghanistan Withdrawal Contradicts Biden

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Top U.S. military leaders are testifying before Congress this week about the recent withdrawal from Afghanistan, and at times have contradicted the image of the situation put forth by President Joe Biden. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, the nation's highest-ranking military officer, called the withdrawal a "logistical success but strategic failure" on Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. In remarks directly following the withdrawal on Aug. 31, Biden called it an "extraordinary success." Milley and Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, each said they recommended to Biden that 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan. Biden said previously that his decision to completely withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan did not go against military leaders' advice, and that he was not told of a recommendation to leave a small troop presence behind.

Right-rated voices highlighted how the country's top military leaders seemed to be at odds with much of the president's decision-making, framing it as a sign of Biden's purported incompetence as president. Conversely, some left-rated voices said the leaders' testimonies worked in Biden's favor, arguing that they proved that the narrative of a failed withdrawal was "exaggerated and lacked context" and focusing more on the notion that the entire Afghanistan war was a failure. Others on the left disagreed, and said the leaders' testimonies "punched holes" in Biden's public defense of the withdrawal.

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