WASHINGTON — Earlier today, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, General Mark Milley, and General Kenneth McKenzie appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) to provide testimony on the recent withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. While a comprehensive assessment of the evacuation itself is crucial, today’s hearing demonstrated the need for a thorough and honest review of the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan for the full 20 years, not just the past few months.
In response to today’s SASC hearing on Afghanistan, Common Defense released the following statement:
“Today’s hearing once again affirmed that President Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was ultimately correct. As General Milley plainly said, the United States cannot risk ‘going to war with the Taliban’ yet again, risking the lives of more American troops and wasting more money on a war we weren’t going to win.
“Perhaps the most important revelation from today’s hearing came from Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who pointed out—and to which Secretary Austin agreed—that it’s our moral responsibility to learn the hard lessons from our full time in Afghanistan. It’s in that spirit that the veterans of Common Defense fully support her plan to create a bipartisan, independent commission to examine the full 20 years of the Afghanistan War—not just the final 14 days.
“The war in Afghanistan was a bipartisan effort shaped by four administrations and 11 Congresses, and the only way to effectively account for two decades of decisions and mismanagement is through an in-depth, independent review detailing the mistakes made, lies told, and profits reaped. If today’s hearing taught us anything, it’s that the American people deserve to know the truth.”