Not surprisingly the generals fought back to defend themselves.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 29: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley testifies during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Ending the U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan in the Rayburn House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images)

“Top military officials wrapped up the second day of testimony on Capitol Hill over Joe Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal. In Wednesday’s House Armed Services Committee hearing, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin continued to contradict Biden’s public claims about pulling troops out of the country.

Milley said he believed a small troop presence should have remained in Afghanistan a year before the withdrawal, which was a stance directly conveyed to the commander-in-chief.

“In the fall of 2020, my analysis then was that an accelerated withdrawal without meeting specific and necessary conditions, risks losing the substantial gains made in Afghanistan, resulting in a complete Taliban takeover or general civil war,” said Gen. Milley.” OANN

Comment: I have an esthetic objection to all that tin and ribbons that the generals, and admirals hang all over their “star suits.” Milley looked ridiculous. I have a lot of tin for my “eagle suit” if I were ever to wear it again, but I would not wear it. This kind of display makes one look juvenile and probably possessed of a weak ego.

General of the Army and C of S of the US Army and Army Air Forces George C Marshall

Get the point? IMO military people should be allowed to follow George Marshall’s example and should do so. Less is more.

Nevertheless, I thought Austin, McKenzie and Milley did well, far better than I had expected. Without condemning the Commander in Chief in so many words they made it clear that it was Biden who made the fatal and deluded decisions that led to disaster in Afghanistan. They told him that sufficient force should be kept in country to hold Bagram air base, keep a defense force at the embassy and at Kabul International until a complete withdrawal of civilians of various kinds was accomplished. IMO this would have amounted in the aggregate to some 10,000 of our military. Would that have meant renewed hostilities between us and the Taliban? Yes, but as Lt. Ord said as he lay dying on San Juan Hill “Its is for this moment that we are soldiers.”

Rather than accept the advice of his senior military, Biden chose to put the military in support of the State Department, an organization given to fanciful dreaming. I have a long experience of them having headed the Defense Attaché System world wide. It was a joke among my officers that the Foreign Service’s unofficial war cry was “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot, they’ll kill us all!” I have found the Foreign Service of the US and their Borgist pals in the National Security staff to be utterly devoid of organizational ability, and they proved this to be true once again in Afghanistan in 2021

In any event, these three generals did the US military and the citizens of the US a great service in not allowing the Bidenista wokies and Marxists to scapegoat the “poor bloody infantry” once again. pl

This entry was posted in Afghanistan, As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, government, History, Policy, Politics, The Military Art. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Not surprisingly the generals fought back to defend themselves.

  1. Babeltuap says:

    Does anyone sincerely believe Biden went against the grain, scoffed at the consensus COA action of the top brass and said, “No way Jose. Doing this my way”…meh.

    How many times has he said on the record, he was “told” not to say or do something or, asked if he could say or do something. He does it so much it’s par for the course now.

    So who told him. Tea leaves are saying Obama from what Nancy slipped out the other day. If that is true, why would Obama set him up for failure. Any combat field grade officer would have used it as a paper target on the range. I know I would have. The plan was a joke.

    • Fred says:


      “why would Obama set him up for failure”

      It should be obvious now that the jigsaw-puzzle coalition that is the 2021 Democratic party is a rainbow of non-caucasian groups coupled together with geriatric old white guard liberals in the lead; along with the remants of lefties of various stripes, and suburban middle to upper middle-class white women. Biden’s criminal incompetence discredits the olg guard, paving the way for the removal from leadership and influence all those not allied to Obama’s electoral machinery. The fear of the ‘white-supremecist’ label, and covid theatrics, will keep the suburbanites in line for another election or two. Open borders and amenesty as equity will take care of the future, or so they hope.

  2. Degringolade says:

    Remember when you were “Flash Qualified” and expected to be a “quiet professional”.
    Most all the the experienced folks who trained me up usually only had two rows tops.
    They did keep the jumps wings and CIB’s.

    • Babeltuap says:

      CCP brass has the same thing going on with their rows of ribbons. For what? The Great Falun Gong War against the infamous yoga people. What a joke.

      All those medals and ribbons (outside of maybe a few) reminds me of what I read once about people who talk about the process of their fantasy football team; Nobody cares about your stupid fantasy team but you.

      Even if you won your league. Nobody cares. Nobody cares about your sea service ribbon, humanitarian ribbon. None of it. Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Bronze V (not the admin one) yeah, those have punch behind it but the rest is nonsense.

      Even the badges. Sure, impressive at the time but Milley couldn’t run 2 miles downhill at this point so no value anymore. Afghanistan proved it.

  3. d74 says:

    Speaking of hardware on the uniform front, it seems to me that the General is wearing the French military parachute badge.
    The parachute and wings are silver. In gold, on the left laurel leaves and on the right oak branch.
    It would be the badge of an ‘initiation’. (BIPM, Brevet d’initiation au parachutisme militaire: certificate for entry level to military parachuting) . Consists of 5 standard jumps.

    The ‘true’ certificate includes 7 varied jumps: one at night, one with fighter equipment (heavy) plus armament sheath, one with controlled opening, one with use of the ventral. The others are standard. You can trust the instructors to make the conditions more and more difficult!
    The badge is the same pattern, with gold and silver reversed: gold for parachute and wings, silver for the ‘green’.

    A uniform loaded with gadgetry beyond propriety turns its wearer into a hotel doorman… Probably, a succes doorman can become a very good general.

  4. jim ticehurst says:

    I have no direct Dressing up For Television Apperances.or Red Square Parades…But The Rank ..Wings..Trident..and CIB..sound right to me…Else where on Old Bin Bidens Farm..Every thing He throws out for food is…Moldy…and Contaminated…He raises His Pigs ..(Sows) the Way He wants..They are Fat..Lazy..and Full of Greasy Pork..and Biden seems to Run His..Plantations the Way..His Crackers Wantthem run…Tax Free Breeding Farms..Otherwise..As to Policy…This is ,,Domestic and Foreign..Bin Biden..Just Rotated…around the Chamber…to Be the Next..Corrupter In Chief..For the Schemers In Chief..The Obamas and Clintions…What We see in Me..Is The Final Super Stagting of Obamas Global Liberation ..meses everywhere in the Middle east..Over throw Mubarak..Support the Muslim Brotherhood..Snuff Kadaffi..Over throw Libya..Scew Up Syria..Kiss Monarchs Rings as Homage..and Corrupt the Harmony in the the United States..By UnAmerican Activity..Supporting and Enforcing Anarchy and Racists Policys..and through out American Systems and Culture..Its Dangerous..and has Reached “Critical Mass”……

  5. scott s. says:

    I had a staff job where I was liaison with what is called the “Board of Inspection and Survey”, mandated in law to inspect the Navy’s ships. The “President” (as he is styled) of the board would come out to Pearl a couple times a year to brief the CinC. In my time PresInsurv was RADM John Bulkeley. Uniform regs allow you to wear your “top three” in lieu of all ribbons, which RADM Bulkeley did. One of which was the MOH (for getting MacArthur out of the PI). The message wasn’t lost on me.

    • Pat Lang says:


      Good for the Navy!

    • George Ashbridge says:

      RADM Bulkeley presided over the Acceptance Trials of the new Spruance Class destroyed that I was assigned to in the late 1970’s. His worn all cotton wash khakis and boat shoes were as unassuming as he was. No insignia or other bling. Several of the ribbons I got while in the Navy were silly; Sea Service Ribbon comes to mind. The GWOT medal while in the Merchant Marine eclipsed that.

  6. Vince Turner says:

    I earned my Austrailian jump wings jumping out of a UH-60 in North Georgia because somewhere an Aussie jumpmaster was in the vicinity – I never saw him, he never looked at me or touched my harness with an inspection. I was almost 50 and told younger troops how to avoid injury. They ignored me and broke bones, I steered my parachute to the parachute turn-in truck and was not injured and only walked maybe 25 meters to the TIP. Old guys rule!

    • Angel says:

      I was XO of C Co(abn)5/23 172nd Arctic Light Inf Bde when we flew down to Fort Assiniboine, Alberta for a month of training with the 14th Canadian paras in 1974. It was a fun month. It was up or out in the U.S. Army at the time, but in the Canadian Army, if you were good at your job and happy, you could stay there for 25 years. Made for some hard-core troopers. The way the Canadian CO measured the wind on the DZ was, stand feet shoulder width apart, remove steel pot, hold at chest level, and drop it; if it landed outside your feet it was too windy to jump. Only time I ever saw a para cry was a Canadian Sgt who broke his femur on a full combat load jump out on dem windy plains east of the Rockies. One night the Mounties were called to a bar in town where the festivities were a little out of hand. They assembled out front with their dogs and shouted at the drunk paras: “come out, or we will send in the dogs.” “Send in the f**** dogs then!” came the answer in heavy Canadian-British accent. So they did. The dead dogs were tossed back out the entrance a minute later. That was the first and only time in a long life of martial arts training that I was instructed in how to kill an attack dog. I wore my Canadian wings happily. The 14th was so ignoble in Iraq that the entire Regiment was sent home and their colors permanently disbanded. Fond memories!

  7. Rob Waddell says:

    The US Foreign Service and NSA woes may be embodied in the mysterious ‘Havana syndrome’ that has to date affected 200 US embassy personnel in every continent except Antarctica.
    Starting in June 2018, up to 16 staff members of the Havana US consulate reported unexplained health problems dating back to late 2016. These health problems included sudden onset hearing problems like strange noises that only occurred while the diplomats were at home or in other accommodation. Other people nearby, family members and guests in neighbouring rooms did not report hearing anything. Speculation centered on an ‘Acoustic’ weapon. In response to the ‘attack’ Cuban diplomats were expelled, non-essential embassy staff removed and the embassy ordered to operate under ‘ordered departure status’. In October 2017, President Trump stated at a news conference that “ I do believe that Cuba’s responsible’. Cuba denies responsibility and offers to assist in any investigation.
    Since this time, other cases have appeared in locations around the world including, Moscow (December 2017), Guangzhou China (early 2018) , Washington D.C. (November 2020) and most recently Serbia (late September 2021). In all some of these cases, wounded staff members have criticized the US government response to their claims of long-lasting injury.
    Facing pressure from other politicians and victims, US President Joe Biden and politicians from both sides of the house are ‘..are dialling up efforts to identify the cause of these incidents, determine attribution, increase collection efforts, and prevent anomalous health incidents’ stated a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
    Causes for the symptoms included, ultrasonics, mass hysteria and pesticides. In December 2020, a study by an expert committee of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released its report, concluding that ‘Overall, directed pulsed RF energy appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases.. ‘. In May 2021 ‘The Politico’ reported that current U.S. officials said that the U.S. government suspected that Russia’s GRU was behind alleged attacks, although the U.S. Intelligence Community had not yet reached a consensus or made a formal determination. According to two of the officials, ‘While investigators have not determined definitively that these incidents are caused by a specific weapon, some believe any such device would be primarily transported by vehicle’ and that ‘Some could be small enough to fit into a large backpack, and an individual can be targeted from 500 to 1,000 yards away’.
    In my opinion as a civilian radio technician, it is highly unlikely that ‘directed pulsed RF energy’ are involved with these events. To transmit debilitating RF energy to a focused point the size of a human head requires a large amount of power, much greater than what can be put in a backpack. The other question is why? If the device is an adversaries ‘secret weapon’ why risk its discovery in a foreign land especially when this risk is quite high. I would think that US embassies have quite a good ‘radio room’ that can detect, locate and demodulate RF signals in the microvolt region and upwards and RF detectors are very accurate and low-cost devices.
    The reported symptoms of Havana syndrome include hearing loss, severe headaches, memory issues, dizziness, brain injury. As a recent retiree, I get all of those but the headaches are only severe if I over-partake Aussie red wine.
    Is Havana syndrome it real or not?

    Rob Waddell

    • TTG says:

      I was thinking this wasn’t the result of a weapon, but the byproduct of an intelligence gathering technology. Don’t know how that would work, but it makes more sense to me than some form of annoying, deliberate attack against our diplomatic folk. Another “out there” theory is that some adversary has truly mastered psychic warfare. You know, like in “The men who stare at goats” kind of weaponry. That’d be a hoot.

  8. KK says:

    > They told him that sufficient force should be kept in country to hold Bagram air base, keep a defense force at the embassy and at Kabul International until a complete withdrawal of civilians of various kinds was accomplished

    so they (the generals) told Biden that 2500 troops should be kept in the country until “complete withdrawal of civilians was accomplished”

    when did they tell him that? August 29?

    I bet in May/June(/July) not very many people expected the Afghan military to fold like a house of cards. Most likely, they expected – we withdraw, Afghan government holds, Afghan military holds the Taliban at bay. After 20 years of “training” and $2.2 trillion dollars spent, Afghan army was supposed to be something like an actual army, no? $2.2 trillion dollars should buy you something, no?

    If these generals went to the White House in May/June 2021 and said “we need to keep 2500 troops in Afghanistan until civilians are evacuated”, that is another way of saying “we will never widthdraw our forces completely”, because it was never expected that civilians need to be evacuated in short order, since it was not expected that the Afghan army folds like a house of cards.

    Both Trump and Biden made a political decision to get out of Afghanistan. It was the right decision. We spent 20 years and $2.2 trillion dollars, and there is nothing to show for it. Whatever we achieved was done during 2001-2002, after that it was all downhill. Taliban today is in a stronger position than it was on 09/10/2001. But during all that time (the last 20 years) all these generals went in front on Congress and testified “we are making progress, just one most push, victory is around the corner”. So after 20 years and $2.2 trillion, exactly what progress did we make?????

    • TTG says:

      That 2,500 figure surely wasn’t meant to hold Bagram, the Kabul airport and the Embassy simultaneously. We has 5,000 holding Kabul airport just to get the 120,000 out. We would have needed 10,000 or more to hold Bagram as well. I believe the 2,500 figure was only deemed sufficient if the Afghan Army held together. That was the fatal assumption.

      • Wunduk says:

        Chicken and egg. Taking out the internationally-provided element doomed the cohesion of the Afghan forces. The 2,500 figure was a US contribution assuming the commitments from allies would have remained where they were at the beginning of 2021 at around 7,000 (including 1,300 Germans, contingents 8-900 strong from Italy and Georgia each, contingents 600-750 from Romania, Turkey and the UK each, plus France, Mongolia and Poland contributing contingents in the 200-350 range). That was not a combat force, but it did the job to keep the Afghan military together, provide air support and most crucially safe havens and medical care. In addition about 5-6,000 contractors provided the logistics and maintenance for the US-provided kit. The ANA and ANP had integrated vastly different Afghans and it was the international support element that provided a common culture, ethos and frequently direction.

    • guidoamm says:

      I will grant you that the fact that the whole thing folded in days may, may, have been a surprise even to insiders. I do however, find that hard to believe. That said, even casual observers that parsed the SIGAR reports, perused the blogs and Twitter feeds of service men and NGO staffers and read the odd press article especially from regional media (as opposed to international media), knew that the entire thing was never going to last absent exogenous support.

  9. J says:

    Wonder how long it’s been since Milley has exited with a full ruck.

    IMO the ‘brass’ of all branches needs a reminder of their roots . Too many have fallen in love with themselves and have forgotten the sacrifice those they command under them

    • TTG says:

      Like most of us, Milley probably hasn’t jumped since he came off jump status. I believe that was as an O-3 with 5th SFG(A).

  10. Condottiere says:

    I’ve seen that before. Only wear ribbons that represent medals for valor, commendation. achievement, or campaign. Ditch the participation trophy service ribbons. CIB and airborne wings if it has mustard stains. It is easy to maintain.

    I have seven rows. It costs me about $120 to build my rack.

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