Pentagon to publish criticism of US withdrawal from Afghanistan

(CNN) A summary of findings from across the administration says President Joe Biden is “severely constrained” by conditions created by President Donald Trump as he decides to fully withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by the summer of 2021. The action review was published on Thursday.

The classified findings of the State Department and Pentagon reviews were sent to Congress on Thursday, fulfilling a White House pledge to provide information following a bloody and chaotic withdrawal, including a brutal bombing at Kabul International Airport that killed 13 American troops.

12 page summary document Defends Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, while acknowledging some lessons. It cited intelligence that provided overly rosy projections of the security situation and that Biden followed the recommendations of his military commanders in withdrawing.

Overall, however, it sums up a much more difficult situation due to decisions Trump has made while in office, including a deal with the Taliban requiring US troops to withdraw by May 2021.

“President Biden’s choices about how to implement the withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by the conditions created by his predecessor,” the summary states.

The brief vigorously defends Biden’s decision to order a full recall.

“There is no indication that more time, more funding, or more Americans at stake in Afghanistan would have provided a fundamentally different path,” the summary says.

Yet after botched efforts to deport American citizens and those who aided the American war effort, the administration is now making it easier to leave earlier in other circumstances.

“We are now prioritizing earlier evacuations in the face of a deteriorating security situation. We did so in both Ethiopia and Ukraine,” the statement said.

See also  A teaser for Francis Ford Coppola's epic film

Similarly, management will work to more assertively communicate the risks of staying in unsafe conditions.

“In a disrupted security environment, we now err on the side of aggressive communication about risks,” the brief states.

Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, several federal agencies conducted investigations. Their release was originally targeted for the one-year anniversary of the dragnet, but was delayed as agencies completed their work.

Following the US withdrawal in August 2021, the Afghan government collapsed and the Taliban quickly returned to power.

A blast outside Kabul International Airport’s Abbey Gate killed 13 US service members — 11 Marines, 1 soldier and 1 sailor — and approximately 170 Afghans.

President Joe Biden ordered reviews to determine what went wrong.

“We will look at every aspect from top to bottom,” he said.

After taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans also began looking into Afghanistan withdrawal, requesting documents and communications as part of their investigation.

This story has been updated with additional updates.

Latest articles

Related articles