On Wednesday during their confused and pathetic press conference on the Afghanistan catastrophe woke General Mark Milley blamed former CENTCOM Commander Scottie Miller for making the call to abandon Bagram Air Force Base, a strategic military base in Afghanistan.
Instead, the US generals decided to run their operations through Karzai International Airport in Kabul that is now surrounded by Taliban fighters.
Scottie Miller then left the country in July and is expected to retire.
There are still 10,000-20,000 Americans stranded in Afghanistan. For some reason, the elites in the military and Biden administration forgot about them during their haste to abandon the country.
Bryan Preston at PJ Media reported:
Relevant to all this, Sen. Mitch McConnell says Biden overrode his military commanders when he decided how to withdraw from Afghanistan.
“If we were to keep both Bagram and the embassy going, that would be a significant number of military forces…that may have exceeded what we had, or stayed the same as what we had,” Milley continued. “So you had to collapse one or the other. And the decision was made, the proposal was made, from CENTCOM commander and the commander on the ground, Scottie Miller, to go ahead and collapse Bagram. That was all briefed and approved and we estimated that the risk of going out of KIA, or the risk of going out of Bagram, were about the same, so going out of KIA was the better tactical solution…in accordance with getting the troops down to a 600, 700 number.”
Who set that number and why? It’s a rhetorical question. We know the White House set that number.
I’ve written about why the choice to abandon Bagram makes little sense, at least from the other side of the world, from a tactical point of view. Bagram is more remote, but was also much more heavily armed and offered a second runway that HKIA does not have. It offered more space to house and feed evacuees. It’s a more defensible position. Using Bagram would have necessitated military armor convoys to make the hazardous trip from Kabul outward, but HKIA is proving to be unworkable so far. It’s surrounded by the Taliban and could itself fall to them. Austin does not deny that we are depending on the Taliban not attacking and overrunning HKIA right now, as it’s full of Americans and Afghans. About 5,000 to 6,000 American troops are currently defending it — roughly double the number of troops Biden withdrew.
NBC ran this story about Miller stepping down from command of U.S.-NATO forces on July 12.