Top US General: Only ‘Modicum of Success’ in Afghan War

Says further drawdown up to Biden Administration

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley discussed the drawdown in Afghanistan on Wednesday, confirming plans to go down to 2,500 troops by mid-January, and saying final decisions beyond that will be up to the Biden Administration.

He seemed to be talking down the idea, saying that the US military hadn’t met all of its goals, and after 20 years only saw a “modicum of success” in Afghanistan, again saying the future will be up to President-Elect Joe Biden.

Gen. Milley and other top Pentagon brass were averse to the Trump-ordered pullout, talking it down as only a proposal. Now, it seems the plan is to wrap up the existing drawdown and then leave the matter up to Biden.

Past administrations have often come in with skepticism about Afghanistan, but every time, the military has talked them into doubling down and keeping the war going. Biden will be taking over an almost completed withdrawal, but it remains to be seen if he will keep it going.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.