Chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has led to “no good option” for the United States, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says on ABC This week show on Sunday.
“In the end, the president made his decision,” Austin said in an interview with ABC This week. But again he was faced with a situation where there were no good options, all of them were very difficult. And, you know, he made his decision based on a thorough analysis.
Austin claimed there were several contingencies in the plans, but the speed of the Taliban takeover when Afghan troops gave up surprised and circumvented those plans, Austin said.
He claimed that military assessments “initially ranged from one to two years” on the Taliban takeover, noting that “no one predicted that, you know, the government would fall in 11 days.
“I repeat to you, 20 years of the best training, the best equipment in the world, you know a lot of effort – you must be amazed at what you have seen and when you can measure capacity, you can measure capacity” , did he declare. “But it is difficult to measure the will to fight.
Austin said the United States is engaged and working to reclaim its left-behind citizens.
“I’m not predicting any options we can take, but I will tell you that I will do whatever I can to get people to the airfield,” in Kabul, Austin told co-host Martha Raddatz.
“If we are given more time, then we will do everything we can to make the most of it,” he said. “This is an interagency process that is really supported or led by the State Department. But everything is our responsibility.