Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley expressed “lots of regrets” about the way the US war in Afghanistan concluded and said it did not align with his desired outcome.
The top general acknowledged that “in a broader sense, the war was lost.”
“It didn’t end the way I wanted it. That didn’t end the way any of us wanted it,” Milley said in an interview with ABC News. “Look, at — when the enemy is occupying your capital … that’s a strategic setback, strategic failure. And there’s no way you can describe that as a strategic success.”
He said US forces were fighting the Taliban and their allies for more than 20 years.
“And they prevailed in that capital for a lot of reasons that we don’t have time to go over today. But, sure, lots of regrets by a lot of us from, from 9/11 on,” he said.
Milley said wars are not lost in the last 10 days or 10 months but are the cumulative effect of lots of turns and twists over many.
“And this war, when the final history is written, will prove to be the same. Lots of lessons learned. Lots of lefts when you should have gone right. And that’ll all come out in due time. But lots of regrets, absolutely, 100%. Every single soldier I lost is a regret,” he said.
The US lost 2,400 service members in Afghanistan.