“My loyalty to this nation, its people, and the Constitution hasn't changed and will never change as long as I have a breath to give.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, testifying in front of the Senate on Tuesday.
sep 29, 2021
- The nation's top military leaders testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday to answer questions about the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan.
- Gen. Milley, along with Secretary of Defense Austin and Commander of Central Command (also known as CENTCOM - the region in the world that includes Afghanistan) Gen. McKenzie testified at the hearing which lasted about six hours.
- Some key takeaways: The leaders inferred they believed since late fall last year, that leaving American troops on the ground in Afghanistan would be the best course of action.
- Gen. Milley also answered questions regarding the recent book which suggests he might have spoken inappropriately to a Chinese counterpart. Gen. Milley defended his actions, saying that the call was made as a part of his responsibilities as the country's top military officer.
Big Picture: Gen. Milley emphasized that his job is to give advice to the President, however: "Decision makers are not required, in any manner, shape or form, to follow that advice." When Gen. Milley was asked why he has not resigned from his position due to his personal opinions contradicting what took place in Afghanistan, he answered:
Senator, as a senior military officer, resigning is a really serious thing. It's a political act if I'm resigning in protest. My job is to provide legal advice or best military advice to the president, and that's my legal requirement ... The president doesn't have to agree with that advice ... And it would be an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign because my advice is not taken ... My dad didn't get a choice to resign at Iwo Jima, and those kids there at Abbey Gate, they don't get a choice to resign. And I'm not going to turn my back on them. They can't resign, so I'm not going to resign. There's no way. If the orders are illegal, we're in a different place. But if the orders are legal from the civilian authority, I intend to carry them out.
Gen. Milley, SecDef Austin and Gen. McKenzie are testifying at a hearing in front of the House Armed Services on Wednesday.
4 takeaways from the Mark Milley hearing
Military Officials Say They Urged Biden Against Afghanistan Withdrawal
Click HERE to watch our three-minute take from the hearing, "Top Military Leaders Face Lawmakers"
Click HERE for the full senate hearing (Above quote from Gen. Milley at 2:55:43)