Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified Thursday that U.S. military officials did not give President Biden a “unanimous” recommendation to leave Afghanistan until 10 days after the fall of its capital city of Kabul.

Speaking at a high-profile Senate hearing, Milley and Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, acknowledged that they had previously advised Biden not to withdraw all American troops ahead of the late-August evacuation. Also facing pointed questions from members of the Senate Armed Services Committee was Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The three testified in public for five and half hours before going into a closed-door session with members of the committee.

Here’s what to know:

  • Milley testified that key Trump officials knew of his two calls to reassure his Chinese counterpart that President Donald Trump had no plans to attack China late in his administration, and that Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper directed the first one.
  • Milley says the Taliban had 6,000 troops in Kabul and that the United States would have incurred “significant” casualties if it had extended its withdrawal deadline past Aug. 31.
  • Austin praised the U.S. military’s evacuation efforts. About 124,000 people left Afghanistan through Hamid Karzai International Airport during the 17-day period, but hundreds of Americans and thousands of Afghans who had U.S. visas or were eligible for them were left behind.
  • The same three military leaders are scheduled to appear Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee.