The US was taken aback by the collapse of the Afghan army, according to the Pentagon Chief.
Top US military officials admitted on Tuesday that the Taliban’s quick takeover of Afghanistan caught them off guard, and expressed concern that the Islamic regime has not severed connections with Al-Qaeda.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the US army withdrawal and departure from Afghanistan, saying, “We helped build a state, but we couldn’t forge a nation.”
“It took us all by surprise when the Afghan army we and our partners trained suddenly vanished – in many cases without firing a shot,” he said. “To pretend otherwise would be dishonest.”
According to Austin, the US has provided the Afghan military with “equipment and aircraft, as well as the knowledge to operate them.”
“They’ve battled valiantly many times over the years,” he remarked. “Afghan army and police officials numbered in the tens of thousands. But, in the end, we were unable to instill in them the desire to succeed.
“At least not all of them,” says the narrator.
The US “did not completely appreciate the degree of corruption and poor leadership in their upper ranks,” according to the Pentagon chief.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, stated that the US did not have a “complete comprehensive evaluation of leadership morale and will” within the Afghan military forces.
Milley explained, “We can count all the planes, trucks, cars, machine guns, and everything else.” “However, a machine cannot measure the human heart.”
The Taliban “was and remains a terrorist group,” according to the general, adding that they “have not broken their ties with Al-Qaeda.”
He stated, “I have no illusions about who we’re dealing with.”
Milley stated, “It remains to be seen if the Taliban can consolidate power or if the country would splinter into additional civil conflict.”
He said, “However, we must continue to safeguard the American people from terrorist assaults emanating from Afghanistan.”
“A resurgent Al Qaeda or ISIS with plans to target the United States is a distinct possibility.”