America’s top military officer conceded this week it is “possible” the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan contributed to Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine — an argument Republicans have made for weeks.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made the comments during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday. Gen. Tod Wolters, the head of U.S. European Command, said last week that Vladimir Putin may have been attempting to take advantage of potential cracks in NATO resulting from post-Afghanistan conditions.
When pressed by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, on the Afghanistan withdrawal and whether it played a part in Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, Milley replied: “From the intelligence I’ve read, it’s not clear. I think it certainly is possible, but I also know that Putin had aims on Ukraine long before the end of the war in Afghanistan.”
Blackburn cut him off: “I think we all know that. So he saw his opening, right?” more