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90 retired US generals call for Austin, Milley to resign over botched Afghan withdrawal

The chorus of anger over the the disastrous US Afghan withdrawal has gathered momentum, with nearly 90 retired US generals and admirals calling for Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to resign for their roles surrounding the chaotic pullout.

The retired top-ranking military officials said in a letter that as principal military advisors to US President Joe Biden, Austin and Milley “should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms.”

“If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign,” they wrote.

“Conversely, if they did do everything within their ability to persuade the [president] to not hastily exit the country without ensuring the safety of our citizens and Afghans loyal to America, then they should have resigned in protest as a matter of conscience and public statement.”

“A fundamental principle in the military is holding those in charge responsible and accountable for their actions or inactions. There must be accountability at all levels for this tragic and avoidable debacle,” the letter further read.

The retired flag officers proposed what they felt should have happened in the withdrawal, including not rushing the pullout and not abandoning the Bagram Air Base, and American weapons and military equipment in the hands of the Taliban.

The signatories noted that, “The hasty retreat has left initial estimates at 15,000 Americans stranded in dangerous areas controlled by a brutal enemy along with 25,000 Afghan citizens who supported American forces.”

The last US flight out of Afghanistan departed from the capital city of Kabul on Monday, marking the end of the 20-year US combat mission in Afghanistan that culminated in the Taliban taking control of most of the country.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there were still more than 200 Americans remaining in Afghanistan as of Sunday morning.

“The consequences of this disaster are enormous and will reverberate for decades beginning with the safety of Americans and Afghans who are unable to move safely to evacuation points; therefore, being de facto hostages of the Taliban at this time,” the retired flag officers wrote in Monday’s letter.

“The damage to the reputation of the United States is indescribable. We are now seen, and will be seen for many years, as an unreliable partner in any multinational agreement or operation,” the letter continued.

House Rep. Ronny Jackson, the former top White House physician to Presidents Obama and Trump, is also a signatory to the letter. Jackson has previously called into question President Biden’s cognitive fitness for the job and demanded that he take a test similar to the one given to former US president Donald Trump.

President Biden also faces calls to resign or be impeached as those from all political backgrounds have criticized him for his handling of the notched US withdrawal.

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