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Benny Worthy Jr.
The Biden administration removed all U.S. forces from Bagram in July. The Pentagon announced in August that the Taliban had freed "thousands" of ISIS-K prisoners from the prison. "We would have kept Bagram because it is next to China," Trump explained. "And it is one hour away from their nuclear facility, and we gave that up too." He added: "And now China’s going to take over Bagram, in my opinion."
Meanwhile, Trump blasted the Biden administration for pulling the military out first, amid reports of hundreds of American citizens and U.S. visa holders remaining in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. "We would have gotten all the people out, we would have brought all of our equipment out, we wouldn’t have had dead soldiers, we wouldn’t have soldiers missing arms and legs—because people don’t even talk about that—we lost 13, but we have many that have been gravely wounded," Trump said. "None of that would have happened."
Top military officials — head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley — testified in September that they recommended maintaining a presence of at least 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Biden and White House officials have said repeatedly that no military leaders advised him to leave a small military presence behind, with the president, himself, telling
ABC News in August that "no one" recommended a 2,500 troop presence that he could "recall." Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was asked whether the president received the personal recommendations from his top military advisers like Milley and McKenzie. "Their input was received by the president and considered by the president for sure," Austin testified in September.
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