Tense Exchange As Tom Cotton Asks Gen. Milley: “Why Haven’t You Resigned?”
US CentCom Commander Gen. Mark Milley got into a testy exchange with Republican Sen. Tom Cotton over the botched Afghan withdrawal and evacuation in Congressional testimony on Tuesday. He appeared to undercut President Biden, who previously told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that “no one” that he “can recall” advised in favor of keeping a few thousand-strong force inside Afghanistan to ensure there’d be no rapid collapse or attacks on Americans. “I can only conclude your advice about staying in Afghanistan was rejected,” Cotton began in his questioning.
But things really got tense when Cotton questioned, “If all this is true General Milley then why haven’t you resigned?”
Wow. Exchange between Gen. Milley & Sen Cotton on why he hasn’t resigned re #Afghanistan
“President doesn’t have to agree w advice just because we’re Generals..This country doesn’t want Generals to figure out which orders we’re going to follow or not..”
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) September 28, 2021
“It’s a political act if I’m resigning in protest,” Milley began his response. “My job is to provide advice.. to provide the best military advice to the president, and that’s my legal requirement – that’s what the law is.”
“This country doesn’t want generals figuring out what orders we are going to accept and do or not,” Milley emphasized. He added that “on a personal note”…
“My dad didn’t get a choice to resign at Iwo Jima. Those kids at Abbey Gate didn’t get a chance to resign.”
“I’m not gonna turn my back on them. They can’t resign so I’m not going to resign,” he added. “If the orders are illegal, then we’re in a different place.”
Last month, Joe Biden claimed that no military leader advised him to leave a small troop presence in Afghanistan.
Today, General Milley and General McKenzie both confirmed their recommendation that 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan.
Which is it? pic.twitter.com/3Tnw1a6V4q
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) September 28, 2021
While the explanation of a top commander’s duties and the Constitution’s laying out elected civilian control of the armed forces are certainly accurate, the whole exchange does bring up the question of accountability.
It remains that now a month out, there’s been no accountability whatsoever for the series of bungled actions which in the end resulted in the deaths of 13 American troops and over 60 Afghan civilians.
Biden said no senior military leadership advised him to leave a troop presence in Afghanistan. (Cotton)
Milley & McKenzie confirm they wanted a troop presence.
Austin said their advice was “received & considered, for sure.”
Biden has some questions to answer!
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) September 28, 2021
There’s also been zero accountability for the drone strike targeting a misidentified “ISIS-K terrorist” – which ended up being a local humanitarian aid worker. In total the strike killed 10 civilians, including up to 7 children.
So far there’s not been so much as a single formal reprimand or demotion over the Aug.29 drone strike within either the Biden administration or military ranks. This despite the Pentagon since openly admitting that the drone operation was a “mistake”.