Afghan army collapse ‘took us all by surprise,’ U.S. defense secretary says

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By Phil Stewart and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Congress on Tuesday that the Afghan army’s sudden collapse caught the Pentagon “by surprise,” as military leaders confronted a contentious Senate hearing about how and why America lost its longest war. Republican lawmakers accused President Joe Biden of lying about recommendations from his military that some troops should be kept in Afghanistan. Even Biden’s Democrats expressed frustration with a chaotic withdrawal…

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