Asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos whether “top military advisers warned against withdrawing at this point in time,” Biden replied, “No, they didn’t.”
To clarify, Stephanopoulos asked, “So no one told – your military advisers didn’t tell you, ‘No, we should just keep 2,500 troops. This has been a steady state for the past several years. We can do this’ . We can continue. Well to do’?” To which Biden said, “Nobody told me that I can remember.”
Other top administration officials also insisted on a slow return, as journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reported.
The debate spread to Tuesday’s White House press briefing, where Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden had been presented with “a range of perspectives” from his military advisers on how to proceed in Afghanistan, but ultimately it was the President. It was up to him to make strategic decisions. .
Psaki also emphasized that none of Biden’s advisers recommended a prolonged military presence.
“I will look at the testimony today that was given by Secretary Austin, General Milley, he clarified, Secretary Austin said specifically, if you live there in a force posture of 2,500, of course you are under the Taliban. Fight together, and you have to reinforce,” Saki said.
“It was also clear, and it was clear to them, that this would not be a long-standing recommendation, that an increase would be needed, that an increase in the number of troops would be needed, it would also mean a war with the Taliban. And it would also mean a potential loss of casualties. The president was unprepared to make that decision. He didn’t think it was in the interest of us, the American people, or the interests of our soldiers,” he continued.
“There was no one who said that five years from now we might have 2,500 soldiers and it would be sustainable,” Saki said. “And I think it’s important for people to know and understand.”
Credit : www.cnn.com