Lloyd Austin reacts with awkward silence when asked if he has regrets about Afghanistan withdrawal

“Do you have any regrets about the Afghan withdrawal?” Baier asked Austin during a keynote discussion at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.

After a silence that lingered for nearly 10 seconds, Austin replied, “Bret, I regret the fact that we lost 13 of our finest at Abbey Gate. I regret that we lost 10 civilians in an errant strike.

“Having said that, Bret, I want to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the fact that our American forces, in 17 days, evacuated 124,000 people from Afghanistan,” Austin continued.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Reagan Forum included remarks by foreign policy experts and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on Biden’s break from the Trump administration’s “America First” strategy — which some officials argue has weakened the standing of the U.S. on the world stage.

Top experts warned at the Reagan Forum that the standing of the U.S. as the “partner of choice” among global allies has waned since the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

vacuees wait to board a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 23. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell)

vacuees wait to board a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 23. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell)

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