Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley announced Tuesday that he has decided he will not be resigning his position despite President Joe Biden ignoring his recommendation on Afghanistan.
According to a report in Fox News, Milley recommended that the United States retain a presence in Afghanistan of at least 2,500 troops, saying that to resign would be an “incredible act of political defiance.”
This statement was made while Milley was testifying before the Senate Armed service Committee alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Auston and head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) took aim at the administration for their handling of the withdrawal, specifically waiting “10 days to ask officers” for their assessment:
“I suspect the answer would have been a little different had you asked them 16 days out, not five days out,” Cotton said, going on to ask if the general would resign due to the rejection.
“Senator, as a senior military officer, resigning is a really serious thing – it’s a political act – if I’m resigning in protest,” Milley said. “My job is to provide advice – my statutory responsibility is to provide legal advice or best military advice to the president, and that’s my legal requirement. That’s what the law is.”
The general said that the president “doesn’t have to agree with the advice,” and said he “doesn’t have to make those decisions just because we’re generals.”
“It would be an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign because my advice is not taken,” Milley said. “This country doesn’t want generals figuring out what orders we are going to accept and do or not. That’s not our job.”