Dozens of retired generals and admirals have called on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to step down, accusing them of “negligence” in connection with the disastrous US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The signatories, who claim membership in a group called “Flag Officers 4 America,” claim Austin and Milley “should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms. If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign.”
Conversely, the letter adds, if Austin and Milley fought President Biden’s pullout order tooth and nail, they still should resign “as a matter of conscience and public statement.”
The letter had 87 signatories as of Monday night, including retired Navy Rear Adm. John Poindexter, a former national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan; Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a former Navy rear admiral and longtime white House physician; and retired Army Brigadier Gen. Donald Bolduc, a Republican candidate to represent New Hampshire in the US Senate next year.
The letter also calls on Austin and Milley to resign for reasons of “leadership, training, and morale” and accuses them of “placing mandatory emphasis on PC ‘wokeness’ related training which is extremely divisive and harmful to unit cohesion, readiness, and war fighting capability.
“Our military exists to fight and win our Nation’s wars and that must be the sole focus of our top military leaders,” it concludes.
Flag Officers 4 America achieved a degree of notoriety in May when it released another open letter accusing the FBI and Supreme Court of ignoring “election irregularities” and casting doubt on Biden’s mental and physical condition.
At the time, the group was criticized by retired Adm. Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told Politico at the time that the letter “hurts the military and by extension it hurts the country.”
US officials announced Monday that the evacuation operation at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport had been completed though they were forced to admit that hundreds of American citizens and thousands of Afghan allies had been left to their own devices in Taliban-controlled territory.