Former President Donald Trump again blasted President Joe Biden's chaotic exit from Afghanistan, saying the withdrawal plan came from ''the mind of a child.''
''The botched and embarrassingly incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan had nothing to do with past administrations or things that happened 'from 20 years ago,' (other than we should not have been in the Middle East in the first place!).'' Trump said in a statement on Tuesday.
''The horrible 'withdrawal' was caused, in particular, because the military was taken out before American citizens, and $85 Billion worth of the highest-grade military equipment anywhere in the world.''
''This withdrawal was developed by a child's mind, and only the Biden administration is responsible for it,'' his statement continued. ''When I left office, the Taliban was held at bay, we had as long as we wanted, there was no reason to rush, no soldiers were killed or even shot at for over 18 months, and if they (the Taliban) didn't meet certain conditions, we would have hit them very hard.
''But then Biden and [Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark] Milley removed the Military in one of the dumbest Military moves in history, and it all began. So sad for our Nation!''
Trump's statement comes the same day that Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
''There is no doubt in my mind that our efforts prevented an attack on our homeland from Afghanistan, which was our core, original, mission,'' Milley said in his opening statement at Tuesday's hearing. ''Everyone that served in that war should be proud.''
Milley said the drawdown of U.S. troops after 20 years of war was a decadelong endeavor, not something that took place over the last 19 months.
He said, however, that the withdrawal that saw the Taliban take over the country in less than two weeks, capturing the capital city of Kabul on Aug. 14, ahead of the planned U.S. exit on Aug. 31, and the ensuing chaotic airlift of more than 120,000 U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and Afghan refugees out of the country, was not on terms the United States wanted.
''It is clear, it is obvious, the war in Afghanistan didn't end on the terms we wanted,'' Milley said. ''With the Taliban now in power, in Kabul.''
Milley said the rushed evacuations came at ''an incredible cost'': the deaths of 13 U.S. military personnel protecting a gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul when a terrorist with the ISIS-K organization detonated a suicide bomb on Aug. 26.
''Those 13 gave their lives for people they never met, so they could have an opportunity to live in freedom,'' he said.
The 20-year war, sparked by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a commercial aircraft that crashed in western Pennsylvania, claimed the lives of more than 2,400 U.S. troops, and wounded an additional 20,000.
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