Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testified before a House panel yesterday to talk about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Both men, but especially Milley, have drawn the ire of conservatives over the past few months and this was a prime opportunity for right-wing lawmakers to go after them. Representative Pat Fallon of Texas asked Milley to comment on why he called a botched drone strike “righteous,” even though drone strikes were never something Republican politicians cared about under previous administrations. Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida made a fool of himself by holding up the book Peril and telling Milley, “you spent more time with Bob Woodward on this book than you spent analyzing the very likely prospect that the Afghanistan government was going to fall immediately to the Taliban.” Representative Vicky Hartzler of Missouri called on General Milley to resign over his decision to tell China the US wasn’t about to attack them after Donald Trump was throwing a hissy fit in his final weeks in office. And Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina went further, saying President Biden himself should resign over the thirteen Marines killed at the Kabul airport last month. These Republican lawmakers may have gotten the soundbites they were looking for, but they did absolutely nothing to shed light on military matters of actual significance.
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