New Woodward/Costa e book: Trump secret memo ordering withdrawal from Afghanistan blindsided nationwide safety workforce

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The November 11 memo, in line with the authors, have been secretly drafted by means of two Trump loyalists and not went during the commonplace procedure for an army directive — the secretary of protection, nationwide safety adviser and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs had all by no means observed it. Unpredictable, impulsive, Trump had performed an finish run round his complete nationwide safety workforce.
In a exceptional scene, the authors write, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, newly appointed appearing Defense Secretary Chris Miller and his new leader of workforce Kash Patel have been all blindsided when the memo arrived on the Pentagon.
Woodward and Costa reproduced the memo in “Peril.” The directive was once titled, “Memorandum for the Acting Secretary of Defense: Withdrawal from Somalia and Afghanistan,” and the memo learn: “I hereby direct you to withdraw all US forces from the Federal Republic of Somalia no later than 31 December 2020 and from the Islamic Republican of Afghanistan no later than 15 January 2021. Inform all allied and partner forces of the directives. Please confirm receipt of this order.”
Milley studied the memo and introduced he was once heading to the White House to confront Trump.
“This is really fucked up and I’m going to see the President. I’m heading over. You guys can come or not,” Milley advised Miller and Patel, who joined him at the travel around the Potomac, in line with the e book.
At the White House, the 3 males paid a wonder consult with to nationwide safety adviser Robert O’Brien and confirmed him the signed memo.
“How did this happen?” Milley requested O’Brien, in line with the e book. “Was there any process here at all? How does a president do this?”
O’Brien appeared on the memo and mentioned, “I have no idea,” in line with the authors.
“What do you mean you have no idea? You’re the national security adviser to the President?” Milley replied. “And the secretary of defense didn’t know about this? And the chief of staff to the secretary of defense didn’t know about this? The chairman didn’t know. How the hell does this happen?”
O’Brien took the memo and left. While the officers had in short debated whether or not the memo can be a forgery, Trump showed to O’Brien that he had signed it.
“Mr. President, you’ve got to have a meeting with the principals,” O’Brien advised Trump, in line with the e book, which Trump agreed to do and the directive was once withdrawn.
It was once “effectively a rogue memo and had no standing,” Woodward and Costa write. “All right,” O’Brien mentioned when he returned to his place of job. “We’ve already taken care of this. It was a mistake. The memo was nullified.”
But the signed rogue memo undercuts the argument that Trump and a few of his allies, together with Miller, have just lately made that Trump by no means actually deliberate to get out or would have deliberate the withdrawal higher than President Joe Biden.
“If I were now President, the world would find that our withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a conditions-based withdrawal,” Trump mentioned in a commentary ultimate month because the Taliban closed in on Kabul. “I personally had discussions with top Taliban leaders whereby they understood what they are doing now would not have been acceptable.”
Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu reported in May that the memo have been drafted by means of two Trump loyalists who must now not had been concerned within the procedure — Johnny McEntee, the previous frame guy who Trump had named head of White House staff, and debatable retired Lt. Col. Douglas Macgregor, who had simply been appointed as an adviser to Miller.
Woodward and Costa write in “Peril” that the memo was once additionally one of the vital causes Milley was once involved Trump may cross rogue after the November election, and induced Milley after the January 6 rebel to take steps to check out to restrict Trump from launching army moves or nuclear guns until he was once consulted.
Eventually, Milley, Miller and Patel left the White House. They by no means noticed the President that day, however after the January 6 attack at the Capitol, Woodward and Costa write that Milley “felt no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump.” Milley “believed it was his job as the senior military officer to think the unthinkable, take any and all necessary precautions.”

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