Speed Reads

Conflict in Afghanistan

Joint Chiefs chair sparks backlash after stating U.S. has 'achieved a modicum of success' in Afghanistan

Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, speaking during a Brookings Institution event Wednesday, said that, after nearly 20 years in Afghanistan the U.S. has "achieved a modicum of success" with its military operations in the country. That's true, he argued, despite a current "state of strategic stalemate" and the inability to defeat the Taliban militarily.

The comments, which come as the military looks to execute President Trump's partial troop withdrawal order, sparked a backlash, with critics suggesting — some more explicitly — that a "modicum" is a fairly paltry amount of success to earn for such a high cost

Others added that Milley's analysis of the situation, even if it's interpreted as defeatist, still downplays the reality on the ground over the last two decades. Tim O'Donnell