Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) demanded answers from top generals about the chaotic and deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, Tuberville asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley about a 2019 statement that pulling out of the country prematurely would be a "strategic mistake." Milley responded by saying, "I 100% agree." Asked about intelligence failing to predict the rapid fall of Afghanistan to Taliban forces, Milley claimed that "nobody called it." Tuberville expressed concerns that U.S. forces someday would be forced to return to the country. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Commander of Central Command replied that "We're always going to reserve the right to go in, to go after ISIS and al Qaida targets as they present themselves." Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin responded to Tuberville's concerns by stating "I don't think it's preordained that we'll have to go back." But Austin conceded that "transnational terrorists will migrate toward ungoverned spaces." Asked by Tuberville whether he opposed dishonorable discharges for troops who did not take the COVID vaccine, Lloyd said only that the vaccine is a requirement.
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