Speed Reads

part of the job

Joint Chiefs Chair Milley explains why he didn't resign over Afghanistan withdrawal

After learning that the Biden administration did not seek Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley's advice on whether to keep some troops at Kabul's airport beyond the Aug. 31 deadline until just a few days before the date, an incredulous Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked during Tuesday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing why the general didn't just resign over the situation.

Milley had a pretty straightforward response. It would have been an "incredible act of political defiance" to resign, he said, adding that politics aren't part of the job. Instead he explained that it's his duty to give the president advice, which doesn't have to be taken. "This country doesn't want generals figuring out what orders we're going to accept and do or not," Milley said.

That wasn't the only reason, however. Milley's father "didn't get a choice to resign at Iwo Jima and those kids there at Abbey Gate, they don't get a choice to resign," he said, referring to the American soldiers who were killed during an Islamic State suicide attack at the airport last month. "I'm not gonna turn back on that," Milley told Cotton.