/ 29 September 2021

A comeback for al-Qaeda

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 28, 2021. (Photo by Sarahbeth MANEY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SARAHBETH MANEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 28, 2021. (Photo by Sarahbeth MANEY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SARAHBETH MANEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Overnight, America’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin have been questioned in Congress about last month’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan – and the picture isn’t pretty… Austin said the speed that Afghanistan’s national guard crumbled was a shock. “We helped build a state, but we could not forge a nation,” he said of local forces’ surrender, often without firing a shot against the Taliban. Milley says al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan could threaten the US in as little as 12 months – and that the Taliban has not broken ties with the terror organisation responsible for the 9/11 attacks on America. He also backed a senior colleague who said they recommended the US keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan to support the government – advice US President Joe Biden has said he wasn’t given “that I can recall.”

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