Stewart: Biden can’t trust U.S. military chiefs, they should resign

Aug 16, 2021, 4:13 PM
Stewart, Owens resign...
Rep. Chris Stewart and Rep. Burgess Owens are among 24 lawmakers to support the Securing Our Students Act. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)
(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Calling the U.S. withdrawal of troops and embassy staff from Afghanistan a “catastrophe for military leadership,” Utah Rep. Chris Stewart has called for the resignation of two U.S. military chiefs.

Via Tweet, Stewart said that both Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley should resign as a sign of accountability after the exit of US Embassy staff this week.

Speaking on Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson, Stewart, a former member of the US military, said he supported the US military efforts in Afghanistan. But citing information from the Senate Intelligence Committee, he also said the American military was running out of options.

“We’ve known for four or five years that we have done everything that we could do there,” he said.

Specifically, he bemoaned the lack of an Afghan fighting force.

“After 20 years, $2 trillion, after more than 2,000 American lives lost, and more than 20,000 American soldiers who have been injured, and we couldn’t build a fighting force that would last more than a few days?”

Stewart: “It could have been more orderly”

Stewart’s concern about the Biden Administration’s withdrawal lies with the manner in which the withdrawal took place.

“We could have, and should have, been able to have an orderly and systematic withdrawal that protected Kabul (and) the other province capitals, protected our own embassy for heaven’s sakes, and protected those individuals who’ve sacrificed to serve alongside Americans.”

In mid-April, 2021, President Biden announced that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Since that time, the Taliban has swept across the nation capturing provinces.

“The jury is still out, but the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” Biden said on July 8.

On August 12, President Biden ordered thousands of American troops to speed their evacuation plans. 

On August 15, Taliban fighters surrounded Kabul, the Afghan capital. 

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Stewart: Biden can’t trust U.S. military chiefs, they should resign