In the wake of what they call the "disastrous withdrawal" and a "hasty retreat" from Afghanistan, 130 retired generals and admirals have called for Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) General Mark Milley to step down. In a letter signed by the retired flag officers, the retired flag officers accuse the two leaders of negligence in performing their duties.
"The consequences of this disaster are enormous and will reverberate for decades," the letter from Flag Officers 4 America states. "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."
Among those signing the letter is retired Army Lt. General Jerry Boykin, a former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command who now serves as executive vice president of Family Research Council.
"We're looking for accountability. Somebody has to be accountable," he tells AFN. "And certainly, in my lifetime this is the darkest period in American history as far as I and I think most of the other retired generals and admirals are concerned. So, somebody has to be held accountable."
Boykin is hopeful that more pressure will be brought to bear on Austin and Milley to step down.
"I think we're one of any number of groups and individuals who think that both of these men should resign from their position," Boykin offers. "And we hope that we can make the case with the American public that will ultimately result in the president or somebody in his Cabinet asking for their resignation – or that they will see the handwriting on the wall and resign themselves."
Boykin points out it is the responsibility of the SECDEF and the Joints Chiefs Chair to advise the president on all things military, which he believes they have not done effectively.