A high-ranking military leader will not stop advising the Oval Office on national defense matters despite a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan on Sept. 28.
Gen. Mark Milley refused to stop chairing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even though he advised Joe Biden’s administration on a lackluster U.S. troop evacuation from the Middle Eastern country.
“As a senior military officer, resigning is a really serious thing,” he said according to Mediaite. “It is a political act if I am resigning in protest.”
The remarks came after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) used a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting to grill the general, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie for failing to warn Biden against quickly pulling out of Afghanistan.
The withdrawal’s speed widely criticized for causing the U.S.-backed Afghan government’s collapse and rapid Taliban takeover in Kabul. However, Milley still believes he performed his duties to the best of his abilities.
“My statutory responsibility is to provide legal advice or the best military advice to the president,” he said according to the publication. “That is my legal requirement [and] that is what the law is.”
President Biden previously admitted on national television that none of his top military advisers told him not to withdraw from Afghanistan in a timely manner.
Milley fired back that it is not his job to try to change the president’s mind.
“The president does not have to agree with that advice, he does not have to make those decisions just because we are generals,” he said. “It would be an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign because my advice is not taken.”
“This country does not want generals figuring out what orders we are going to accept and do or not–that is not our job,” he added. “The principle of civilian control of the military is absolute, it is critical to this Republic … I am not gonna resign.”
Milley intends to carry out his orders, as long as they come from a civilian authority and are within the law.
Senators from both sides of the aisle believe the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was handled ineffectively. It risked the lives of U.S. troops and also diminished the U.S.’s strategic position in the region, according to the One America News Network.
The withdrawal from Afghanistan is Joe Biden’s biggest foreign policy disaster in his nearly 50 years in office.— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) September 28, 2021
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) declared the Biden administration’s Afghan evacuation was a catastrophe.
“The men who planned it–Gen. Milley and Secretary Austin–should resign,” he said on Twitter.
Hawley believes the Biden administration falsely portrayed the chaotic evacuation to seem under control. He claims the strategy was supposed to cultivate favorable press coverage.
Joe Biden’s Afghanistan evacuation was a catastrophe and the men who planned it – Gen Milley and Secretary Austin – should resign pic.twitter.com/NVc9yFjUvI— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) September 28, 2021