One year later, Biden publicly silent on Afghanistan withdrawal, but internal memo defends decision

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By CASEY HARPER | THE CENTER SQUARE

On the one-year anniversary of the chaotic and deadly withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban is in control of the struggling nation and critics are blasting President Biden’s handling of the withdrawal in a new report.

Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are touting findings of the report, which alleges that about 800 American citizens were left behind, a number the Biden administration disputes, along with thousands of Afghans who had helped the U.S. and were therefore in danger.

Also, 13 U.S. service members were killed in the withdrawal, and about $7 billion in equipment was left behind.

“There was a complete lack and a failure to plan,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-TX, the ranking Republican on the committee, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “There was no plan, and there was no plan executed.”

Afghanistan is facing a food crisis as well crackdown from the Taliban, which has limited education for girls.

The White House prepared a memo to circulate defending the withdrawal and attacking the Republican report, according to Axios. The memo says the GOP report is “riddled with inaccurate characterizations, cherry-picked information, and false claims.”

“When President Biden took office, he was faced with a choice: ramp up the war and put even more American troops at risk, or finally end the United States’ longest war after two decades of American presidents sending U.S. troops to fight and die in Afghanistan and $2 trillion spent,” the memo said. “The president refused to send another generation of Americans to fight a war that should have ended long ago – and we fundamentally disagree with those who advocated for miring the United States’ fighting men and women in an indefinite war with no exit strategy.”

The memo also argues that former President Donald Trump had significantly weakened the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

“Our top intelligence professionals assessed – and recent history had shown – that we’d ultimately need to send more American troops into harm’s way just to keep the stalemate in a 20-year war from degrading,” the memo said. “The president rejected the impossible notion that a so-called low-grade effort could have maintained a stalemate. There’s nothing low-grade, low-risk, or low-cost about any war – and there were no signs that even more time, funds, or even more importantly Americans at risk in Afghanistan, would have yielded different results.”

On his Twitter account, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote, “One year ago, Kabul fell to the Taliban on @JoeBiden’s watch. He knew the Taliban could swiftly take #Afghanistan & the risks of stranding Americans in a botched withdrawal. Biden failed to prepare & lied to us & the world. 13 U.S. troops were lost. We won’t forget them.”

Scott introduced a resolution last year to create a bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan, but the resolution has not passed.

“The American people demand accountability,” Scott added.

The call for further investigation and “accountability” were echoed in both the Senate and the House. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., referenced the report Monday, pointing to the “hundreds of Americans abandoned” and “billions of dollars in military equipment lost” as well as the “13 American service members tragically murdered.”

“It’s been exactly one year since Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal,” Rep. McCarthy said. “Republicans demand answers – and we will get them.”

32 COMMENTS

  1. Imagine if Eisenhower had abandoned an entire army worth of equipment and fled the field. How long would he have lasted?

    That’s what Biden & Co did.

  2. No matter what Trump did or didn’t do, it was Biden and Biden alone who
    -insist the date he did over the objections of the military
    -ignore the advice of the military
    -leave behind enough military hardware to make the Taliban a major power
    -close Baghram first
    -reject the Taliban’s offer to wait until we were gone
    -deliberately obfuscate 3rd parties trying to get people out due to diversity
    -focus on unvented Afghans over US citizens
    -leave US citizens
    -lie about leaving US citizens
    -deny the military permission to go get US citizens

    And on and on and on.

    Sorry Joe, this abomination is all on you.

  3. President Biden – No one is disputing the fact that the US needed to have an exit strategy from the conflict in Afghanistan. What is being argued is the very inept manner in which the exit strategy was formulated and executed… which all happened well into your presidency… you can try to blame President Trump, but you had 8 months to plan and prepare for this, instead focused on and signed signed executive order after executive order shutting down the US energy production and ultimately the US economy… this is all on your and your inept advisors shoulders… JUST OWN IT…IF YOU EVEN REMEMBER IT!!!

    • Quite a bit to dead servicemen, the people left behind, the people directly harmed by arming the Taliban. And their families.

      While not treasonous, it is perhaps the most obscene dereliction of duty by any President since Wilson. Probably since Taylor.

  4. The Third Fundamental Law of international politics: everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong when a Democrat is left in charge…….
    Especially when he is a demented old man with barely any brain particles or bodily functions in operational state.

  5. I can always respect a man who can admit fault. It usually means that he may not make the same mistakes again. Enough said.

  6. So, the man who has been in D.C. calling shots since BEFORE the war started (and through it’s entirety) blames the fiasco on the man who spent 4 years in D.C. fighting off the shackles of domestic deceit, insubordination, and outright treason? Sounds to me like his “exit strategy” was flawlessly planned and executed. Just wait until we find out how all those billions of dollars being funneled through Ukraine are being used. Talk about a plan…

  7. Just remember this decrepit old sack ran on the platform of “the buck stops with me.” He had a plan.
    For those of us who had family and/or friends and loved ones who fought in this war, we will never forget nor forgive this despicable surrender to the enemy. The same way we will never forget him checking his watch during ceremonial return of the 13 soldiers bodies last year.
    I don’t care about your opinions, don’t bother bringing up Trump, this is on Biden and his utter contempt for we the people

  8. The guy who wants to ban”Assault” weapons for Americans left3\4 million of them to Taliban terrorists

  9. Wish people would be able to be to live in peace together. The disrespect of each other is so foolish.

  10. The truth of the matter is that we should not have been there in the first place so getting out of there was a good desicion. The how we got out of there is what is in question. That was botched so badly that if it hadn’t cost so many americans lives, it would have been comedic.

  11. An E-1 just graduated basic training could have come up with a better plan- in fact, an E-3 in my unit asked “why didn’t they just use Bagram?” I’ve been to both Kabul and Bagram dozens of times, and the choice to hole up at Kabul airport vs Bagram is astoundingly incompetent.

    That being said, those who keep saying “military equipment left behind” are either ignorant or dishonest. We didn’t leave behind US military equipment. We donated US military equipment to the Afghan National Army… Lots of it. No vehicles or weapons “left” in Afghanistan were ever intended to be brought home to the US.

    An E-1 just graduated basic training could have told you that equipping the ANA with our weapons was a dumb idea, but that decision was made decades ago.

    We should have left Afghanistan. But we did it in an incredibly stupid way.

  12. Withdrawal from Afghanistan is the only thing Biden has done right. The Republican Ego Trip Wars had to end someday. The sooner, the better.

    Now if only you idiotic Republicans reading this had the balls to oppose the Democrat EGO Trip Proxy War in Ukraine.

      • Imperialism is a bipartisan project. There, I just blew your fragile little mind. Try not to go insane over it.

    • Withdrawing from Afghanistan was the right move.
      However, that withdrawal was an absolute disaster. Nothing about that withdrawal was praiseworthy in any way.

      • Seriously, it was one of the most bloodless retreats in history. Saigon, anyone? The only people upset are NeoCons and weapons dealers, a bunch of complainers. Pfft… whatever, man.

    • The same war being funded by the Democrat controlled congress? The one Biden is committed to no matter the cost or length?

      • 100% of the Dems and Reps voted to escalate this proxy war. You should be aware of your own party’s role in this, even if you are just a Republican. Tisk, tisk.

        • You Monday morning quarterbacks amuse me. You forget that going after the Taliban and Osama probably saved lives. If we had sat back on our thumbs the way you suggest, we might be up a dirty bomb or two. Keeping the bad guys on the run saves lives. It also shows the rest of the world that we’re not pushovers. But after Obama went around doing the bend over tour around the Middle East, we have very little respect left. Ukraine has got us right back into a cold war that is spread into space. China is doing what China always does and our masters at looking at the big picture so I don’t expect them to do anything rash. Americans under Biden are kind of the laughing stock of the planet. That’s okay though, I’ve been laughed at before so long as you don’t try to put a car bomb under my pickup.

  13. When the book of life opens in front of us, all our deeds are there. That is your bank account. Jesus or the fiery pit. Play wise adults.

  14. Nothing about that withdrawal was well thought out or remotely defensible. General officer’s heads should have rolled and the Big Guy should have resigned.

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