Representative Matt Gaetz drilled General Mark Milley on the Withdrawal from Afghanistan, and it was beautiful.
Gaetz came out of the gate and hit Milley because he spent more time writing a book with Bob Woodward than he did talking to the House Arms Committee and addressing politicians on the matters he should have. Milley went around the law and did what he wanted to and is still covering for President Biden. Milley also neglected to make sure that troops and citizens got out of Afghanistan.
Milley said that after Kabul, Afghanistan fell, nobody could have anticipated the fall so quickly. As Gaetz noted, Milley said that the U.S. military wasn’t going to beat the Taliban and that the Taliban wasn’t going to beat the Afghan military, “You blew that call, didn’t you, General,” Gaetz asked.
Gen. Milley responded by saying that he believed it was an issue of strategic stalemate and if the U.S. had stayed in Afghanistan, then Gaetz cut him off, saying, “Well, that’s an interesting answer to a question, just not one I asked. You spent more time on this book with Bob Woodward than analyzing the very likely prospect that the Afghan military was going to fall to the Taliban immediately, didn’t you?”
“Not even close, Congressman,” was Milley’s response.
Gaetz snapped back and said that Milley had stated that no one could have predicted the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and asked when Milley was made aware that President Joe Biden had called former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to lie about the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan.
Milley said that if the U.S. kept advising the government of Afghanistan, then the army would have still been there, but too sorry too late, I guess.
Gaetz turned his attention to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and asked if he could assess another’s will to fight. Austin said no, and Gaetz said it’s an “incredibly disappointing thing for the Secretary of Defense to say” that he can’t determine another’s will to fight. Gaetz noted that Austin was a failure in Syria when Lloyd was given billions of dollars to train the Syrians to fight the Bashar al-Assad government, which is still in charge. Now he was training the Afghans to fight the Taliban, and the Taliban are in charge. Gaetz said that the consistent failure should prove that Austin doesn’t know how to do his job.
“It seems like you’re chronically bad at this,” was the quote of the entire banter. To every top leader in the United States military, they all seem very bad at their job, and Gaetz noted that he’s almost sure that all of them will “fail upward” as they have been making their entire careers.
Lastly, Gaetz said that when people in the military like Stuart Scheller stand up and demand accountability from their leadership, they get put in prison. When actual failure happens, nobody is held accountable for anything, which will likely be the situation for Austin, Milley, and Biden.