CENTCOM Commander General Frank McKenzie has said to Congress that he worries the Afghan military “will certainly collapse” without continued U.S. support. This is the first break with the White House’s rather rosy assessment about the state of Afghanistan post-U.S. withdrawal.

McKenzie testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. He expressed concern about President Joe Biden’s announcement that all U.S. troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11. 

“I am concerned about the ability of the Afghan military to hold on after we leave, the ability of the Afghan Air Force to fly, in particular, after we remove the support for those aircraft,” McKenzie said. 

After President Biden announced that U.S. troops will leave by September 11, Afghan President Ghani repeated the assertion that Afghan troops can hold their own. Nevertheless, all evidence points to the opposite.