Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that the U.S. military's intelligence did not indicate that Afghanistan would fall as quickly as it did to the Taliban.
The big picture: Milley's comments come as intelligence communities have pushed back on claims that the Afghan collapse was a surprise. Several leaks have asserted that the intelligence agencies provided substantial information regarding Afghanistan's potential fall.
- President Biden has maintained his position that withdrawing troops from Afghanistan was the right decision, saying, "I do not regret my decision to end America's war fighting in Afghanistan."
- The Biden administration has received stark criticism over the rapid fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the chaotic evacuation effort that ensued.
What they're saying: "The timeframe of a potential collapse was widely estimated, it ranged from weeks to months, even years following our departure," Milley said in a press briefing.
- "There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days," he added.
- Milley also pledged to evacuate Afghans who have supported the U.S. military: “We intend to evacuate those who have been supporting us for years, and we are not going to leave them behind. And we will get as many out as possible.”
Go deeper: Evacuating Afghanistan