Friday, July 7, 2023

Report Blames Top Biden Officials for Failures During Afghanistan Exit; Biden Says 'I was right' About the Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal in Response to Damning State Department Report Slamming HIS Administration's Failure to Plan for the Chaos, and related stories

Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
WSJ: Report Blames Top Biden Officials for Failures During Afghanistan Exit:
A report on the State Department’s chaotic 2021 exit from Afghanistan said senior Biden administration officials in Washington were to blame for failing to decide which Afghans should be eligible for evacuation and issuing constantly changing guidance.
The report, issued by the State Department on Friday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend after months of pressure by U.S. lawmakers, sought to identify the mistakes made during the evacuation operation that took place at the Kabul airport as the Taliban seized power during America’s final weeks in the country.
Left behind by the airport scramble were most Afghan allies who applied for a visa program that aimed to save those at risk of retribution for working for U.S. forces. But tens of thousands of Afghans who had little or no direct connection to the government instead made it through the crowds and were evacuated.
“Constantly changing policy guidance and public messaging from Washington regarding which populations were eligible for relocation and how the embassy should manage outreach and flow added to the confusion and often failed to take into account key facts on the ground,” the report said. The unclassified version of the report didn’t identify the administration officials who it said were at fault.
Many Afghan allies who are at risk but left behind could now wait for decades before they have a chance of being evacuated. Å State Department report issued for the first quarter of 2023 shows that more than 150,000 Afghan visa applicants are waiting inside Afghanistan, excluding family members. At the current pace, it could take more than 40 years to process those in line, from a country where life expectancy is 62.
The report said that top Biden officials continually changed guidance even as the operation was under way, adding to pressure on American personnel on the ground who were working in dangerous and traumatic conditions.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the report “speaks for itself,” adding that President Biden “had to make a tough decision…in the beginning of his administration, had to make a tough decision on what to do with the…nation’s longest war.” --->READ MORE HERE
Biden says 'I was right' about the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal in response to damning State Department report slamming HIS administration's failure to plan for the chaos:
A defiant President Joe Biden stood by his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and shrugged off a damning State Department report condemning his administration's failure to prepare for the country's rapid collapse.
He was responding to the Supreme Court's decision to block his $400 billion student loan forgiveness plan when a reporter asked for his reaction to the internal review of events leading to chaotic scenes in Kabul in August 2021.
'Remember what I said? I said al-Qaeda wouldn't be there. I said we'd get help from the Taliban. What's happening now? What's going on? Read your press. I was right,' Biden said before walking away.
The investigation found serious pitfalls in leadership and questions about who was in charge before and during the mayhem, which resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of Afghan civilians.
Before the mayhem unfolded, Biden promised a safe withdrawal and said it was 'highly unlikely' the Taliban would take over Afghanistan.
The Biden administration publicly released only half of the 87-page report laying out the disastrous end of 20 years of U.S. involvement on the Friday before the July 4 holiday.
It will likely lead to fury from Republicans and veterans who have long accused the Biden administration of trying to shrug off its actions in the build-up to August 2021.
The conclusion confirmed what critics have long thought, that there was a litany of strategic failures as the Taliban overran cities and there wasn't enough consideration given to 'worst-case scenarios'.
As a result, thousands of allies who helped the U.S. in the war were left behind, and there was chaos at Hamid Karzai International Airport as men, women and children tried desperately to flee.
Even though planning for the evacuation of Kabul began 'some time' beforehand, the State Department was 'hindered by the fact that it was unclear who in the Department had the lead.'--->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

State Department failed to plan or respond fast enough in Afghanistan collapse, new US report finds

Joe Biden Denies Any Mistakes with Afghanistan Withdrawal: ‘I Was Right’

State Department Report Details Bureaucratic and Strategic Failures of Afghanistan Withdrawal

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