During an interview with the Fox News Channel aired on Saturday’s “Fox Report,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said there were plans to re-take the Bagram Air Base, which “were briefed.” But that doing so would have required 15-20,000 in additional forces, and “would re-initiate a war with the Taliban.” Milley added that he didn’t think the military conditions warranted taking back Bagram.
Milley said, [relevant remarks begin around 6:45] “Well, if we went in and re-took Bagram, if that were to happen, if that decision were ever made, we had contingencies to do that, by the way. And those were briefed. But that’s a significant troop commitment, number one. You’re looking at 18th Airborne Corps, you’re probably looking at 10,000 or more additional forces, and then you’re going to have to secure Bagram, you’re going to have to clear Kabul, and you’re going to have to secure KIA. So, your total, you’re looking somewhere in the range of 15-20,000 additional forces. And, most importantly, you would re-initiate a war with the Taliban. Which, of course, we could do. But that’s what would have happened. So, you would have been fighting ISIS and the Taliban, and with all the casualties, etc. I know a lot of people were talking about it. But I wonder if the support would have been there if, had that been done, had that decision been made. I personally think the military conditions did not warrant that. I think the military conditions warranted what we did.”
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