Top General refuses to endorse Trump’s Afghan withdrawal schedule

General Milley, along with almost all of the joint chiefs of staff, has quarantined at home following the coronavirus outbreak that began at the White House two weeks ago.

While Mr has announced that he is now coronavirus free after his stint at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, much of the Department of Defense leadership is still in quarantine after attending a White House reception hosted by Mr Trump for Families of the fallen took part in troops. Adm. Charles Ray, the Coast Guard vice-commander, tested positive for the virus after attending the event.

Updated
Oct. 12, 2020, 3:03 PM ET

Mr Trump has visited Twitter in the past to post guidelines, often to the surprise of those involved in the formulation or implementation of those guidelines. For example, the president has forecast troop withdrawals without informing the Pentagon, as he did with Syria in 2018, leading to Jim Mattis’ resignation as Secretary of Defense.

The Pentagon is a place that lives by the rules, and Defense Department officials again noted Monday that the military has not actually responded to orders via Twitter.

General Milley said this in the NPR interview when talking about the agreement with Afghan and Taliban officials that the US military would withdraw if conditions – and the situation on the ground – allowed it to do so without jeopardize the mission.

“That was the president’s decision on a condition-based withdrawal,” said General Milley. “We are closely monitoring all of these conditions. And we, the military, are giving our best military advice under these conditions so that the President can make an informed, deliberate and responsible decision. “

Senior military officials have argued throughout the year that a swift withdrawal from Afghanistan would effectively undo the February peace accord with the Taliban.

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