Retired flag officers, war veterans, ex-generals, and admirals have called on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to turn in their resignation over the botched Afghanistan withdrawal that led to the security threat and killed 13 US Marines. Accusing them of ‘negligence,’ as many as 90 signatories who claim membership in a group called “Flag Officers 4 America” have held the US Defense Minister and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff responsible for the disastrous pullout from Kabul as the Taliban laid siege on the on key provincial regions, eventually taking control of all of Afghanistan.
“Austin and Milley should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms. If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign,” the open letter read. It goes on to add, “The hasty retreat has left initial estimates at 15,000 Americans stranded in dangerous areas controlled by a brutal enemy along with 25,000 Afghan citizens who supported American forces.”
In the letter, the flag officers stressed that as the principal military advisors to the US commander-in-chief Joe Biden, both the United States Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff General “should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms. If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign.” The letter furthermore goes on to add, that if the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Milley and Defence Secretary Austin did not advise US President on the dangerous outcome of hasty withdrawal, they still should resign “as a matter of conscience and public statement.”
“The death and torture of Afghans have already begun and will result in a human tragedy of major proportions. The loss of billions of dollars in advanced military equipment and supplies falling into the hands of our enemies is catastrophic. The damage to the reputation of the United States is indescribable,” Flag Officers 4 America emphasized.
Besides these military operational reasons for resignations, there are leadership, training, and morale reasons for resignations.
The letter signed by nearly 87 signatories as of Monday included Navy Rear Adm. John Poindexter, a former national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan; Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a former Navy rear admiral and longtime white House physician; and retired Army Brigadier Gen. Donald Bolduc, a Republican candidate to represent New Hampshire in the US Senate next year. The signatories called Austin and Milley to resign for reasons related to the “leadership, training, and morale” as it also accused them of “placing mandatory emphasis on PC ‘wokeness’.
“The consequences of this disaster are enormous and will reverberate for decades beginning with the safety of Americans and Afghans who are unable to move safely to evacuation points,” the ex-armed forces service members stressed.