Tuesday morning three of President Biden’s top military advisers will be grilled by the Senate Armed Services Committee over the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie will testify on a range of topics from the military withdrawal to the ISIS-K suicide bomber that killed 13 U.S. service members.
Fox News reports:
Austin, Milley and McKenzie are also likely to face questions on the botched U.S. drone strike in Kabul on Aug. 29 aimed at ISIS-K terrorists. The Pentagon later admitted that it was unlikely any ISIS-K members were killed in the strike and it instead led to multiple civilian casualties – including seven children.
The withdrawal concluded on Aug. 31, with administration officials admitting to leaving more than 100 American citizens behind. Administration officials, though, said their mission in Afghanistan had shifted from a military mission to a diplomatic one, with some saying they were working with the Taliban to ensure safe passage for those Americans and U.S. visa holders, as well as some Afghan allies, to evacuate the country.
Since the withdrawal, Austin and other top military officials have admitted that without troops on the ground in Afghanistan it will “no question” be “more difficult” to identify and counter terror threats from the region.
And earlier this month, Austin said it is “possible” that the U.S. will work with the Taliban against ISIS-K in Afghanistan.
Milley is likely to also face questioning regarding allegations in Bob Woodward’s new book “Peril” which detailed unauthorized conversations to Chinese officials.