Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Contral Command commander Gen. Frank McKenzie, two of the highest ranking officials in the American military, testified before Congress on Tuesday that they had believed several thousand US troops should have remained in Afghanistan and that President Joe Biden was aware of their opinion.
“I won’t share my personal recommendation to the president, but I will give you my honest opinion and my honest opinion and view shaped my recommendation. And I recommended that we maintain 2,500 troops in Afghanistan,” Gen. McKenzie told the representatives.
Gen. Milley concurred with McKenzie's statements and said: “I am required, and the military commanders are required, to give our best military advice, but the decision-makers are not required to follow that advice.”
Milley stated that he had believed there was "a very real possibility" that the Taliban could seize control of Afghanistan and become a terrorist threat against the US in the coming years and that withdrawing could risk the US "losing the substantial gains made in Afghanistan."
The US withdrew all of its forces from Afghanistan on August 31, after the Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15. US President Joe Biden has stated that he does not remember receiving any advice to keep troops in Afghanistan.