Briefing presentation begins at 17 minutes into the video – WaPo forgot to trim the front off

Pentagon’s top officials deliver remarks on Afghanistan

from the Washington Post

[ Editor’s Note: This briefing is a keeper. I have saved the link, as it is a rare to have two men who had commanded US troops there and have seen the combat side up close and personal, and then held full command at the top to deliver its epilogue.

They had prepared statements but answered media questions at the end, also worth watching. Fox and OAN did not seem to be there… banned maybe from the Pentagon?

I don’t ever remember seeing a briefing like this in my lifetime, and hopefully will not have to again. A few quick stats.

On the day of the bombing, and despite it, 89 flights went out during that 24 hour period, evacuating 12,500.

Total US extraction sorties were 387 in C-17s and C-130s. Non-US (mostly NATO) flights were 391.

All told 124,344 people flew out, a hell of an accomplishment under the circumstances.

My gut feeling is they were happy it was over and the bleeding had stopped. And they were quite frank about doing a complete evaluation of the evacuation to see what lessons can be saved for the future.

We are going to hear more about the folly of morphing an anti-terror war into a nation building project that was a gold mine for the grifters. There was no foundation to build it on, and Afghanistan had a long history of knowing how to deal with foreign invaders… never ending war.

They also welcomed a review of the whole war from this ending vantage point. If I had been there, I would have asked about the Inspector General’s final Report on the war, which was devastating.

Few will bother to read such things. It is not cheerful reading. The precursor report in March 2016, the WaPo published in sections, which are downloadable. They also are a treasure, numerous interviews that were transcribed and some taped.

WaPo got 2000 pages and the audio tapes. I am not sure if they included links to all of it. I have no memory of there having been anything like this after Vietnam, but that conflict did produce a mountain of books… Jim W. Dean ]

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First aired … September 01, 2021

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hold a briefing on the end of the military mission in Afghanistan.


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  1. It is so strange, only 6,000 troops and 124,000 civilians. That seems like quite an odd ration for a war fighting machine. Can someone please explain that?

    Did we only have 6,000 troops over there fighting?

    • Just thinking, maybe they stood down (they DID) because their intelligence (not their IQ level) had told them NUKES were definitely planted in NYC and to just stand down if they go off, as what are they going to do about it?
      Shoot down airliners willy nilly?
      Nuke Russia in phony knee jerk retaliation, or if truth be told, and its not, nuke Israel and Saudi Arabia…
      So they had at the ready the concocted arab terrorists with boxcutters story and script to explain and blame – and the generals were told to follow it, dont lift a finger or push a button. Just as Cheney told the anti aircraft missle operators outside white house to do as the guided-missle carrying airliner approached as within a couple minutes range – stand down…

  2. Those are two historical speeches by military command of a ‘superpower’ nation after the longest war in current history. That sounded like some lessons learned. The follow through is key.

    • These two generals also they just may be doing only high-flown statements that finally they end in… nothing.

    • We have some historical bookends potential here. The Dems are doubling down on the Repubs push for another commission on investigating the withdrawal, to generate as much hate media in the runup to 2022 elections, wanting to expand that review to cover the entire war. That is the big prize. And for the cherry on top, we have these two generals telling us the military is going to do the same thing, review the whole war. VT has to wiggle its way into this process. It will be hard fot the ‘investigators’ to refuse evidence and risk being charged with rigging the outcome after a multi year review, which is what it will take.

  3. “All told 124,344 people flew out, a hell of an accomplishment under the circumstances.”

    Take the money and run …

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