TAMPA ( WFLA), – Former President Donald Trump called an American top general a “f —- fool” Saturday as he spoke about the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan at the Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump criticizes the exit strategy in a Twitter video. He says that he intended to protect all American equipment when he was planning the withdrawal.
Trump stated, “I said, The moment we get out I want every nut and every bolt, every screw… We’re taking everything.”
Then he recounts a story about General Mark Milley, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff who allegedly told him that it was cheaper for equipment to be left than for it to be flown back.
Trump stated, “That’s when he realized he was an f —- idiot.”
Trump maintained his claim that the U.S. had left $85 billion worth of equipment behind. However, an AP fact-check revealed that these numbers were heavily exaggerated and misunderstood. The U.S. has spent $85 billion on Afghanistan development since 2001. This includes troop training, pay and other infrastructure costs for the U.S. over the past two decades of U.S. involvement.
According to a June 2019 report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Rehabilitation, $18 billion was spent between 2002-2018 on Afghans’ equipping.
A defense policy analyst also stated that a lot of the equipment would be obsoleted or scrapped.
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie stated in August, that 27 Humvees had been destroyed and 73 aircraft have been disabled by the Americans. They cannot be used again. As one of their final actions, the Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar System was also disabled by U.S. forces.
Milley, in a testimony to a congressional commission, called the war a “strategic fail” and stated that the U.S. should examine whether the war made the Afghan government too dependent upon foreign aid.
He stated that he had helped to build a state but could not forge an entire nation. We were all taken by surprise when the Afghan army that we trained with our partners simply vanished – in many instances without firing a single shot – It would be untruessful to claim otherwise.