Five takeaways from the Senate’s hearing on Afghanistan

Top Pentagon officials took a grilling Tuesday over the Biden administration’s handling of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and U.S. Central Command head Gen. Frank McKenzie fielded questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee that covered everything from the frenetic evacuation out of Kabul’s airport, to those left behind, to the likelihood of terrorist groups once again gaining a foothold in the country with U.S. forces gone.

The Defense leaders admitted to faults in the Trump and Biden administrations’ process for pulling troops from the country beginning last year, with Milley calling the evacuation a “logistical success, but a strategic failure,” but maintained that the Pentagon had prepared for the messy withdrawal.