US: Trump and Biden are blamed in a scathing report on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
The State Department report on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan on Friday criticized the handling of the 2021 evacuation, stating that decisions by President Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, to withdraw troops had “serious consequences for the viability” and security of the former US-backed government. The findings also reflect poorly on Antony Blinken because they highlight the agency’s failure to expand the crisis taskforce.
Unfriendly discoveries in the report additionally thought about severely Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, without naming him. They incorporated the division’s inability to grow its emergency the board taskforce as the Taliban progressed on Kabul in August 2021 and the absence of a senior negotiator “to regulate all components of the emergency reaction”.
The report stated, referring to the top floor of the state department, where Blinken and senior diplomats have offices, that “naming a 7th floor principal… would have improved coordination across different lines of effort.”
During the evacuation of US and allied officials, Afghans at risk of Taliban retaliation, and crowds of desperate Afghans attempting to enter the Kabul airport, men clung to aircraft as they taxied down runways.
Outside an airport gate, an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 13 US soldiers and over 150 Afghans.
The state department released 24 pages of an 85-page After Action Report on its handling of the evacuation operation launched as the last international forces led by the United States left after supporting Kabul governments against the Taliban for 20 years. The remaining pages remained classified.
It lauded the performance of American embassy staff working under difficult circumstances like the Covid-19 pandemic and decreased security as a result of the US troop drawdown, whose speed “compounded the difficulties the department faced.”
A report that was made public by the White House in April was influenced by the review as well as a similar Pentagon study. However, the critical findings of the state department review were not included in the White House report.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, defended Biden’s approach to the Afghan pullout.
“He needed to go with a choice,” she told correspondents on Friday. The US had poured “billions of dollars into a conflict seemingly forever” and that “he needed to stop that, he needed to end that”, she said.
Steven Cheung, a representative for Trump, wrote in an email: ” The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan can only be attributed to Joe Biden.
The White House report really put the tumultuous US pullout and clearing procedure on an absence of arranging and troop decrease adjusts by Trump following a 2020 arrangement with the Taliban to pull out US powers.
A senior official with the state department stated in April, “I can’t speak to that internal coordination piece and how the administration settled on the core conclusions that it presented.”
On the condition of anonymity, the official who briefed reporters declined to explain why the March 2022 review was withheld from publication until just before the 4th of July holiday weekend.
Before the last US soldiers left on August 30, 2021, 125,000 people, including nearly 6,000 Americans, were evacuated by air from Kabul as the Taliban consolidated their hold on the city after the US-backed government fled.
The review stated that “both President Trump and President Biden’s decisions to end the US military mission in Afghanistan had serious consequences for the viability of the Afghan government and its security.”
While those choices were outside its degree, that’s what the audit said “during the two organizations there was deficient senior-level thought of most pessimistic scenario situations and how rapidly those could follow”.
That was disputed by a spokesperson for the White House. He highlighted a White House report observing that there were broad gatherings and tabletop activities to investigate clearing situations as a component of the arranging system, including possibilities “more regrettable than the most pessimistic scenario forecasts”.
The state division survey expressed making arrangements for the departure “was thwarted” in light of the fact that it was “muddled” which senior authority “had the lead”.
According to the report, senior administration officials had neither determined where Afghan evacuees would be taken nor had they made “clear decisions regarding the universe of at-risk Afghans” by the time the evacuation began.
The review found that the Biden administration’s reluctance to take actions that could indicate a loss of confidence in the Kabul government and “thereby contribute to its collapse” hindered preparation and planning. It stated that “knowledge management and communication among and across various lines of effort was problematic” due to “the complicated department task force structure that was created when the evacuation began proving to be confusing to many participants.”