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The top U.S. general in Afghanistan repeatedly warned the Biden administration that the region would get “very bad, very fast” after U.S. forces withdrew, The Washington Post reported.

The Biden administration orchestrated the effort to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2021 in what critics decried as an operational disaster that ended in the deaths of several troops and Afghani civilians. Retired Gen. Austin Scott Miller, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan in 2021, expressed concerns to the Biden administration about the region’s security post-withdrawal and feared that they did not understand the risks of keeping an embassy open with little protection, he told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a closed-door testimony last month, according to the Post.

Miller told lawmakers that he was so troubled that he privately warned a Marine Crops commander in charge of planning for a potential withdrawal to be ready for “really adverse conditions,” according to the Post.

“I did not foresee a good future for Afghanistan as I was departing,” he told lawmakers in April, according to the Post.

Miller began his post in Afghanistan in 2018, and saw early on the operational challenges in evacuating, which the former Trump administration had started planning for, according to the Post. He told lawmakers that he saw Afghanistan as early as March 2020 “as being on fire.”

The Biden administration initially planned to bring Miller home with remaining U.S. forces from the Bagram air base in the last phases of the withdrawal, but changed course and evacuated the air base in July 2021, leaving behind 700 troops to operate between the U.S. embassy and the Kabul airport, according to the Post. Miller recalled that he was “scared” for his personnel operating in the Helmand province of Afghanistan as evacuation efforts progressed in 2021.

U.S. troops and personnel at the embassy fully withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, a month in which Afghani civilians crowded the Kabul airport in the hopes of being evacuated alongside overwhelmed troops. Amid the crowded chaos, an ISIS-K member detonated a suicide vest at the airport on Aug. 26, killing 13 U.S. troops and approximately 170 Afghan civilians.

The Biden administration left behind roughly $7 billion worth of military equipment in Afghanistan.

The administration maintains that the Afghanistan withdrawal was the “correct policy choice.”

“All the evidence is coming back. Do you remember what I said about Afghanistan?” Biden told reporters in 2023 when asked whether mistakes were made during the withdrawal. “I said al Qaeda would not be there.  I said it wouldn’t be there.  I said we’d get help from the Taliban.  What’s happening now?  What’s going on?  Read your press.  I was right.”

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