Defense Secretary Austin admits Afghan army collapse 'took us all by surprise' in Senate testimony

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, (C) Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley (L), and Commander of U.S. Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie(R) testify at a hearing before Senate Armed Services Committee Dirksen Senate Office Building September 28, 20,21 on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
WASHINGTON The Pentagon admitted Tuesday that the sudden collapse of Afghanistan's army and rapid Taliban advance had contributed to the chaotic exodus of the war-weary country by the Biden administration.

"The fact that the Afghan army our partners and we trained simply melted away, often without firing a shot in many cases, took us all completely by surprise," Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Austin, a veteran of wars in Middle East, said that it would be dishonest to claim otherwise.

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that although many of the NATO-trained Afghan troops tried to defend their positions against the Taliban with American and NATO support, the majority failed.

Milley stated that while many units fought to the end, the majority of them put down their weapons and went away in a very short time. He said, "I believe that it has to do with leadership and will but I think we still have to figure out why that was."

It is obvious, it is evident. We did not agree to the terms of the end of the war in Afghanistan. Milley stated that the Taliban are now in Kabul.