The retired Flag Officers signing this letter are calling for the resignation and retirement of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) based on negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The hasty retreat has left initial estimates at ~15,000 Americans stranded in dangerous areas controlled by a brutal enemy along with ~25,000 Afghan citizens who supported American forces.
What should have happened upon learning of the Commander in Chief’s (President Biden’s) plan to quickly withdraw our forces and close the important power projection base Bagram, without adequate plans and forces in place to conduct the entire operation in an orderly fashion?
As principal military advisors to the CINC/President, the SECDEF and CJCS should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms. If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign.
Conversely, if they did do everything within their ability to persuade the CINC/President to not hastily exit the country without ensuring the safety of our citizens and Afghans loyal to America, then they should have resigned in protest as a matter of conscience and public statement.
The consequences of this disaster are enormous and will reverberate for decades beginning with the safety of Americans and Afghans who are unable to move safely to evacuation points; therefore, being de facto hostages of the Taliban at this time. The death and torture of Afghans has already begun and will result in a human tragedy of major proportions.
The loss of billions of dollars in advanced military equipment and supplies falling into the hands of our enemies is catastrophic.
The damage to the reputation of the United States is indescribable. We are now seen, and will be seen for many years, as an unreliable partner in any multinational agreement or operation. Trust in the United States is irreparably damaged.
Moreover, now our adversaries are emboldened to move against America due to the weakness displayed in Afghanistan. China benefits the most followed by Russia, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and others. Terrorists around the world are emboldened and able to pass freely into our country through our open border with Mexico.
Besides these military operational reasons for resignations, there are leadership, training, and morale reasons for resignations. In interviews, congressional testimony, and public statements it has become clear that top leaders in our military are placing mandatory emphasis on PC “wokeness” related training which is extremely divisive and harmful to unit cohesion, readiness, and war fighting capability. Our military exists to fight and win our Nation’s wars and that must be the sole focus of our top military leaders.
For these reasons we call on the SECDEF Austin and the CJCS General Milley to resign. A fundamental principle in the military is holding those in charge responsible and accountable for their actions or inactions. There must be accountability at all levels for this tragic and avoidable debacle.
RADM Philip Anselmo, USN, (ret)
MG Joe Arbuckle, USA (ret)
BG John C. Arick, USMC (ret)
BG Billy A. Barrett, USAF (ret)
RADM Jon Bayless, USN, (ret)
BG Charles Bishop, USAF (ret)
BG Don Bolduc, USA (ret)
MG William Bowdon, USMC (ret)
LTG William Boykin, USA (ret)
MG Edward Bracken, USAF (ret)
VADM Toney Michael Bucchi, USN (ret)
MG Bobby Butcher, USMC (ret)
BG Jim L. Cash, USAF (ret)
LTG James E. Chambers USAF (ret)
MG Carroll D. Childers, USA (ret)
RADm Arthur Clark, USN (ret)
VADM Ed Clexton, USN, (ret)
MG John J. Closner III, USAF, (ret)
BG Peter b. Collins, USMC (ret)
MG David L Commons USAF (ret)
MG James l. Dozier, USA (ret)
BG Keith B. Connolly USAF (ret)
BG Bob Floyd, USA (ret)
MG Larry Fortmer, USAF (ret)
BG Jerome V. Foust, USA (ret)
BG Jimmy E. Fowler, USA (ret)
BG Jerome V. Foust, USA (ret)
RADM J. Fraser, USN (ret)
MG John T. Furlow, USA (ret)
MG Francis C. Gideon, USAF (ret)
MG Lee V. Greer, USAF (ret)
BG John H. Grueser, USAF (ret)
MG Ken Hageman, USAF (ret)
Gen Alfred Hansen, USAF (ret)
MG Bryan G. Hawley, USAF (ret)
MG John W. Hawley, USAF (ret)
BG Norman Ham, USAF (ret)
RADM Donald Hickman, USN (ret)
MG William B. Hobgood, USA (ret)
MG Bob Hollingworth, USMC (ret)
MG Jerry D. Holmes, USAF (ret)
ADM. Jerome L. Johnson USN (ret)
RADM John King, USN (ret)
BG Douglas E. Lee, USA (ret)
MG J.S. Lynch, USMC (ret)
RADM(L) Grady L. Jackson USN (ret)
RADM Ronny Jackson USN (ret)
MG Anthony Kropp USA (ret)
RADM Chuck Kubic, CEC, USN (ret).
MG James E. Livingston, USMC, MOH (ret)
MG John D. Logeman, USAF (ret)
MG Jarvis D. Lynch, USMC (ret)
LTG Fred McCorkle, USMC (ret)
LTG Thomas McInerney, USAF (ret)
BG Michael P. McRaney, USAF (ret)
BG James M. Mead, USMC (ret)
BG Joe Mensching, USAF (ret)
MG John F. Miller, USAF (ret)
RADM John A. Moriarty, USN (ret)
RADM David R. Morris, USN (ret)
BG Ben Nelson, USAF (ret)
BG Joe Oder, USA, (ret)
MG Ray O’Mara, USAF (ret)
MG Joe S. Owens, USA (ret)
BG John a. Paterson, USAF (ret)
RADM Russ Penniman, USN (ret)
MG Richard Perraut, USAF (ret)
VADM John Poindexter, USN (ret)
RADM J.J. Quinn, USN (ret)
LTG Clifford H. Rees, USAF (ret)
BG Teddy E. Rinebarger, USAF (ret)
RADM Norman Saunders, USCG (ret)
LTG Hubert G. Smith, USA (ret)
MG James Stewart, USAF (ret)
RADM Jeremy D. Taylor, USN (ret)
LTG William Thurman, USAF (ret)
BG Robert Titus, USAF, (ret)
LTG Lansford E. Trapp Jr, USAF (ret)
BG Richard J. Valente, USA (ret)
MG Paul Vallely, USA (ret)
BG William L. Welch, USAF (ret)
MG Kenneth W. Weir, USMCR (ret)
MG Mike Wiedemer, USAF (ret)
MG Richard O. Wightman, Jr. USA (ret)
BG Robert E. Windham, USA (ret)
RADM Denny Wisely, USN. (ret)
BG Robert V. Woods, USAF (ret)