It’s hard to know how to categorize lawmakers like Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). He’s a Trump supporter, but one with a significant amount of power. In the Senate, he’s one of the most visible supporters of the January 6 insurrection, but that seems to be a common description of Trump supporters in Congress these days.. After today, it’s hard to not also see him as simply clueless, but again, that’s all part and parcel of all the other descriptions of him.
— Mr Producer (@RichSementa) September 28, 2021
On Tuesday, Hawley put on a performance while questioning General Mark Milley, who has served his country in the armed forces for more than 40 years. At a hearing in front of the House Armed Services Committee, Hawley demanded that Milley confess whether he had advised against the drawdown of troops in August prior to the withdrawal of 2,500 remaining troops. Milley casually and patiently explained to Hawley that his questioning wasn’t even following a logical or researched path.
‘It’s more complicated than that. The drawdown of the forces … those guys are advisers. The [Noncombatant Evacuation Operations] NEO troops, our Marine Expeditionary unit, [Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force] and elements of the 82nd Airborne Division — that’s what you need in order to do the NEO.’
Hold up! Why is Josh Hawley questioning General Milley about Afghanistan today?
Why is the select committee on 1/6 taking so long?
— Geoff (@GeoffFrck) September 28, 2021
In other words, no one was left behind because of the final drawdown of troops when the 2,500 remaining troops were pulled out. While Hawley thought he was going for the jugular, he ended up just falling flat on his face. Milley continued:
‘But the April piece and the drawdown of the advisers, that’s a separate and distinct task. Those 2,500 advisers weren’t the guys bringing out the American citizens anyway. Those were the advisers to the Afghan security forces.’
The Afghanistan withdrawal was a catastrophe???
The GOP pandemic "response" is the damn catastrophe.
— Steve Rustad (@SteveRustad1) September 28, 2021
Milley further enlightened Hawley on the truth of what actually happened. The Biden administration didn’t pull out the final troops despite military advice. In fact, everyone was aware of what would most likely happen, and they had a plan to address it.
‘The advisers are already gone by mid-July, there is still a government, there is still an Afghan army and the assumption was that it would remain and the mission was to keep the embassy open, secure the embassy, transition that off to contractors. None of that happened because that army and that government collapsed very rapidly. There was a plan for a rapid collapse. That’s why all those aircraft showed up. That wasn’t done without planning. That was done with planning. From an operational and tactical standpoint, that was a success.’
The exchange begins at 4:39.