Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, speaking during a Brookings Institution event Wednesday, said that, after nearly 20 years in Afghanistan the U.S. has "achieved a modicum of success" with its military operations in the country. That's true, he argued, despite a current "state of strategic stalemate" and the inability to defeat the Taliban militarily.The comments, which come as the military looks to execute President Trump's partial troop withdrawal order, sparked a backlash, with critics suggesting -- some more explicitly -- that a "modicum" is a fairly paltry amount of success to earn for such a high cost> CJCS Gen. Milley, asked about Afghanistan withdrawal, says 20 years of constant U.S. effort has produced a "modicum" of success. > > Quite the optimist.> > -- Brian Everstine (@beverstine) December 2, 2020> Milley, on the state of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan: > > "We believe now that after 20 years, two decades of consistent effort, that we he have achieved a modicum of success."> > More than 775,000 service members have deployed to Afghanistan. Nearly 2,400 dead, and 20K wounded.> > -- Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) December 2, 2020Others added that Milley's analysis of the situation, even if it's interpreted as defeatist, still downplays the reality on the ground over the last two decades. > Some people will give Milley some credit here. Oh he's telling the truth. No. It's been an abject failure. By every metric. Especially when most of the metrics are currently classified. They don't usually do that when they are successful.> > -- Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) December 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com The naked corruption of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue Freshly pardoned Michael Flynn shares message telling Trump to 'suspend the Constitution' to hold a new presidential election The election was almost entirely peaceful. What happened?