Republican politicians are continuing to call for resignations and call into question the Pentagon’s knowledge like never before. America’s military leaders are trying to fight on a landscape they’ve never planned for committee testimony.
Tough Questioning in Congress
Over the last two days, Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have testified before the Senate and House committee members on how they led the Armed Forces under President Biden.
They also testified about informing Biden on withdrawing from Afghanistan a month earlier. This was when more than 120,000 people were forced to evacuate and 13 U.S. soldiers were killed as the Taliban took full control of the country.
It is absolutely unacceptable that this is the first time General Milley, Secretary Austin, and General McKenzie are appearing in a public hearing more than a month after the botched withdrawal.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) September 28, 2021
Conservatives’ harsh questioning highlighted the fact that while our longest war is finally finished, the battle for the 2022 midterm elections is only getting started. The depressing retreat from Afghanistan is becoming a rallying point for Republican contenders.
These Republicans are eager to make the dismal pullout a judgment on Biden as his poll numbers plummet. Also, if the Pentagon’s image suffers as a result of this, so be it.
“It has nothing to do with Afghanistan. It’s all about ineptness,” said Curt Anderson, a political consultant who helps senators including Missouri’s Josh Hawley and Florida’s Rick Scott, the Republican National Senate Committee’s chairman.
“Some in the media and liberals are promoting the illusion that this will go away,” Anderson remarked. “Yet, the concept that, ‘Oh, this occurred,’ is a joke. The president and everyone in his administration is totally inept, but people will forgive them. What? “What are you lurking under?”
Democrats Try to Shift Attention
Sen. Josh Hawley Tells General Milley, Defense Secretary Austin They Should Resign To Their Faces
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) September 28, 2021
Liberals, on the other hand, point to research that suggests Americans value domestic matters more than foreign policy; they also claim voters back leaving from Afghanistan, while believing it should have been handled much better.
They furthermore contend that conservatives are being hypocritical by blaming Biden for ending an occupation started by a Republican President, George W. Bush (and for carrying out a pullout planned months earlier by Trump).
Democrats also point out that Trump was the one who nominated Milley to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the first place. Milley drew the wrath of the left when he posed for a scandalous selfie with Trump after demonstrators were ejected from a parking lot near the White House in July 2020.
When Milley later claimed he had been unintentionally used as a mannequin, Trump and the right slammed him. However, Biden managed to keep Milley on, and the right-wing attacks amplified in a congressional committee in June.
This was when Milley answered a question about critical race theory with a long, viral-ready monologue about the current military needing to understand better all speculations.