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The end of the war in Afghanistan will be scrutinized as military leaders appear before lawmakers.


Nearly a month after the last US troops left Afghanistan in a hasty evacuation, the Pentagon’s top executives will face sharp questions from lawmakers on Tuesday morning about the military’s role at the end of the country’s longest war.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will no doubt be asked earlier this year about their advice to President Biden not to withdraw all US troops from the country.

Gene. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., the head of the Army’s Central Command, which oversees Afghanistan, gave the same advice to the president. General McKenzie will also appear before lawmakers.

During the first consecutive Senate and House hearings this week, General Milley is expected to be asked why he declared a U.S. drone strike in Kabul a “just attack” last month, even after military officials said they were reporting to the United States. investigations were on civilian casualties. victims. The Pentagon acknowledged a week later that the strike was a tragic mistake, killing ten people, including seven children. General Milley tacitly admitted he spoke too early, calling the mistake “heartbreaking.”

Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee nominally discusses the frantic evacuation from Kabul and the Pentagon’s strategy to fight terrorist groups there from long distances. But lawmakers on both sides are expected to use the moment to raise other issues in what is expected to be a rancorous partisan Donnybrook.

Republicans are likely to respond to comments General Milley made to a succession of authors about his efforts during the last chaotic months of the Trump administration to protect the military and American democratic institutions from a president looking for ways to the power to stay.

Those steps, as detailed in a new book, culminated in General Milley calling twice to reassure his Chinese counterpart and enforce promises from the military chain of command not to launch a nuclear weapon on Mr. Trump’s orders without him first. to warn.

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