The Biden Administration Failed to Predict Afghanistan Mayhem

A recently released State Department report criticized the agency’s crisis management and awareness leading up to and during the fall of Afghanistan.

The report faults both President Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, for failing to appreciate the impact of a U.S. military pullout on Afghanistan’s stability. It also highlights a lack of senior-level consideration of worst-case scenarios and inadequate planning for a full evacuation of the country.

The report points out that constant changes in policy guidance and public messaging from Washington during the evacuation added to the confusion and made the situation more dangerous.

It also mentions lower-level problems such as a coronavirus outbreak at the embassy, which led to a strict lockdown and hindered collaboration, and the failure to extend the hardship rotations of diplomats in response to the country’s instability.

The chaotic and deadly two-week evacuation from Kabul in August 2021 resulted in the rescue of over 120,000 people, but many others, including those who had assisted the U.S. war effort, were left behind.

The tweet below says “The White House is trying to bury a report before a holiday weekend showing how the Biden Administration’s incompetency led to the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.”

The report highlights differences in decision-making between the Trump and Biden administrations and emphasizes the need for improved processes and systems in crisis situations.

While the State Department has already taken steps to implement lessons learned from the Afghanistan withdrawal, Republicans and other critics are likely to seize upon the report’s findings to support their claims of bureaucratic lethargy contributing to the chaos.

House Republicans have held hearings on the withdrawal and intend to seek testimony from top national security advisers, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

So far, no U.S. officials have been fired or forced out as a result of the dysfunction highlighted in the report, leading to criticism from family members of troops killed in the airport bombing. An earlier investigation by the U.S. military also revealed frustration with a perceived lack of attention in Washington to the situation on the ground in Afghanistan.

Overall, the report underscores the shortcomings in the State Department’s handling of the Afghanistan crisis and the need for reforms and improvements in crisis management procedures.

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