- Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
Afghanistan
The Taliban (under UN sanctions for terrorist activities) stormed to power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, as US-led forces withdrew from the country after 20 years of occupation.

Trump Slams Top US General Milley as 'F**king Idiot' Over Afghanistan Withdrawal

© REUTERS / RACHEL MUMMEYFormer U.S. President Donald Trump reacts after his speech during a rally at the Iowa States Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., October 9, 2021.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump reacts after his speech during a rally at the Iowa States Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., October 9, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.12.2021
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Former US President Donald Trump has a well-deserved reputation for speaking candidly. At an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump recounted a conversation that caused him to become convinced that General Mark Milley, the nation's highest-ranking military official, "was a f**king idiot".
Trump, speaking at an event hosted by the right-wing Turning Point Action group, told a story over the weekend about a conversation he had with US General Mark Milley over the hectic US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Trump told the crowd that he had said to Milley: "The moment we get out [of Afghanistan], I want every nut, every bolt, every screw... we're taking everything, we're taking down the tents".

Trump continued his Saturday speech: "They left all the tents. They left everything", adding, in a rhetorical query for those listening, "Couldn't they have flown in a couple of hundred pilots and flown the planes out?"

The story then turned to Trump’s interactions with Milley when the former was president.

Trump recounted, "I'll never forget Milley saying to me, 'Sir, sir. It's cheaper to leave the equipment than to bring it'". According to Trump, he then asked Milley, "You think it's cheaper to leave it there so they can have it than it is to fill it up with a half tank of gas and fly it into Pakistan or fly it back to our country?"

Trump then claimed that Milley answered him, '"Yes, sir, we think it's cheaper, sir'". To which Trump went to the punch line of his story: "That's when I realised he was a f**king idiot".
The cost of flying a single military aircraft for an hour is extremely expensive. According to Business Insider, the C-130, used for the transportation of cargo and troops, costs $6,604 per hour of flight. Factor in air support, logistics, and storage of excess equipment, and the cost of withdrawing all of the American military gear from Afghanistan starts to add up.
Trump's story, however, failed to include the context surrounding his conversation with Milley, as the Trump administration had signed an agreement with the Taliban* in February 2020 that would see US troops leave Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of military occupation.
The original agreement called for US forces to withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months of the announcement. Trump's troop withdrawal, however, was not completed until August 2021, nearly 16 months after his administration signed the agreement.
At the time, Milley and US military officials warned Trump that a full withdrawal could lead to the issues that the Biden administration eventually struggled with. In January 2021, weeks before Trump was set to leave office, it was reported Milley had to talk the departing president out of withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley testifies before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2022 for the Department of Defense in Washington on Thursday, June 17, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.09.2021
Gen Mark Milley Tells US Senate Afghan Pullout Was ‘Logistical Success But Strategic Failure’
Trump and Milley had well-documented conflicts while the former was in the White House. It has been reported that Milley told Chinese officials he would warn China if Trump ordered an attack, that Milley had the US high command ready to step in if there wasn't a peaceful transfer of power following Trump's loss in the 2020 presidential election, and he pushed back on Trump's decision to quickly withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan.
Over the past year, Milley has come under fire from Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the evacuation from Afghanistan. Reports have consistently shown that Milley, unlike the Trump and Biden administrations, pushed back on a full US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
While Trump may be accusing Milley of being an "idiot" for allowing the US to leave so much equipment behind in Afghanistan, it's worth nothing that he never pushed the leave in the first place.
*The Taliban is under UN sanctions for terrorist activities.
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