Biden administration reverts to internal blame-shifting amid Afghanistan chaos

Factions in the Biden administration have been embroiled in a game of guilt over why the U.S. government did not act sooner to pave the way for a hasty and dangerous evacuation of American citizens and Afghanistan who had helped the United States in the 20-year war

Military officials say they have been urging the State Department for weeks to act more quickly to evacuate its diplomatic staff. State Department officials said they were working on the basis of intelligence assessments that showed they had more time, but intelligence officials insisted it could be captured by the Taliban for a long time.
A source familiar with intelligence said the Taliban was aiming for a full military victory in Afghanistan in an intelligence assessment prepared last month despite allegedly holding peace talks in Doha, and even that the administration continued to express confidence in the talks.

On Monday, President Joe Biden, in his first statement since the Taliban tightened control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, blamed Afghan security forces for not wanting to fight and the decisions of previous administrations, but all of this directly addressed the chaos in Afghanistan. take. look. Biden acknowledged that the Taliban’s capture was faster than expected, but said he was “completely behind” his decision.

Some officials insist Biden received bad advice from some senior military and intelligence advisers. A White House official noted that three weeks ago, Chief of General Staff General Mark Milley said that Afghan forces were capable of fighting and defending their country, and that capturing the Taliban was not an inevitable outcome.
“Full bunk,” the officer said.

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Military officials said they were in fact prepared for the worst and called on the State Department for weeks to begin withdrawing embassy staff from Kabul. Pentagon officials used the words “disappointment” and “show” to describe their feelings about Washington and Kabul.

Biden administration reverts to internal blame-shifting amid Afghanistan chaos:

Authorities said they had warned the State Department that emergency evacuations would be more difficult at the last minute if more workers remained, if necessary.

Although the embassy has been slowly recruiting staff over the past few months, attempts to evict a larger embassy staff only began late last week, when the Taliban was close to the gates of Kabul. The scenes evoked images from Saigon in 1975, and there would be no comparison promised by management.

A Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, said Monday that the Department of Defense “completely” planned “significant gains” by the Taliban nationwide, but declined to say whether the president had been informed. sometimes they had to surrender without a fight, “he said.

A State Department official acknowledged that there had been a real confrontation with the Pentagon in recent weeks over the Pentagon’s failure to oppose the military’s recommendation to close the US embassy in Kabul. However, a senior government official said they had closed the intelligence community’s assessment that the fall of Kabul was imminent. He said he thought the State Department had therefore taken appropriate decisions.
On Sunday, a senior intelligence official issued a statement defending the work of the society, saying, “For some time now, we have noted troubling trends in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has been the strongest military force since 2001. Strategically, it is a quick takeover of the Taliban.” probability “.

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Diplomats are also angry. Someone who had just returned from Afghanistan said, “My house. I’m angry.” Two other U.S. diplomats serving in Afghanistan have said that chaos would be prevented or at least reduced if we took immediate action to evacuate people. Diplomats said Biden did not make a decision very quickly, despite holding many meetings of the National Security Council, and believed that valuable time in this case was wasted.

Biden’s national security team said it had “spent months planning an extensive scenario and was ready for the challenge.” He noted that despite the rapid collapse of Afghan forces and government, the US embassy “closed safely and quickly after an effective and safe military shootout that ended earlier this spring.”

“We are now working to evacuate people safely and quickly, including American citizens, local embassy staff and aides, and other Afghans,” he said. He said.

Stay tuned to ReportingHour

Source@ CNN

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