Top generals contradict Biden, say they urged him not to withdraw from Afghanistan
Gen. Frank McKenzie said that he recommended maintaining a small force of 2,500 troops in Afghanistan earlier this year.
Top generals told lawmakers under oath on Tuesday that they advised President Joe Biden early this year to keep several thousand troops in Afghanistan — directly contradicting the president’s comments in August that no one warned him not to withdraw troops from the country.
The remarkable testimony pits top military brass against the commander-in-chief as the Biden administration continues to face tough questions about what critics are calling a botched withdrawal that directly led to the deaths of 13 American service members, scenes of chaos at the Kabul airport, and the abandonment of American citizens and at-risk Afghans in the war-torn country.
Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services in a hearing Tuesday that he recommended maintaining a small force of 2,500 troops in Afghanistan earlier this year.
He also noted that in the fall of 2020, during the Trump administration, he advised that the U.S. maintain a force almost double the size, of 4,500 troops, in Afghanistan.
In answering questions from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) about his advice, McKenzie said he would not share his “personal recommendation” to the president.