(GoRealNewsNow.com) – On Thursday, the White House released its first after-action review of the turbulent 2021 US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was marred by the deaths of 13 US service members and hundreds of Afghans in an ISIS suicide bombing.
The 12-page document was released moments before National Security Council spokesman John Kirby addressed the media while President Biden quietly left for Camp David.
The review attributes the chaotic withdrawal to the Trump administration’s Doha agreement with the Taliban, which committed the US to leave Afghanistan by May 2021.
However, the agreement also allowed the US to withdraw from the accord if Afghan peace talks failed, which they ultimately did.
The document criticizes the Trump administration for providing no plans for the final withdrawal or evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies, despite the withdrawal deadline being just over three months away.
Interestingly, the review mentions the name “Trump” 14 times while only using the word “accountable” once concerning holding Russia responsible for its aggression towards Ukraine.
The document asserts that the US would not have been as successful in addressing these challenges had its forces remained in Afghanistan.
Kirby defended the administration’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and emphasized that Biden was committed to ending the war even before taking office.
Kirby also downplayed the chaotic scenes of Afghans attempting to cling onto departing planes, arguing that the evacuation was not as chaotic as it appeared.
Reporters who questioned Kirby about the review were denied the opportunity to question Biden, who left the White House more than two hours ahead of schedule without notifying the media.
In an unusual move, Biden did not board his Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn, avoiding walking past waiting reporters. A White House spokesperson explained this was due to preparations for the White House Easter Egg Roll.
Kirby deflected questions about when Biden would address the review’s findings and sidestepped inquiries about any regrets the president may have had regarding the withdrawal. The review acknowledged that as late as May 2021, the assessment was that Kabul would not come under serious pressure until late 2021, but it did not label the fall of Afghanistan as an intelligence failure.
Instead, the review used this false intelligence to justify the Biden administration’s lack of preparedness for evacuations under Taliban control. Kirby claimed that the report aimed to provide perspective and learn lessons from the withdrawal rather than assigning blame.
In response, former President Trump criticized the report on Truth Social, accusing the Biden administration of trying to shift the blame for the withdrawal’s failures onto him.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, also condemned Kirby’s comments as “disgraceful and insulting,” asserting that the responsibility for the withdrawal’s shortcomings lay with Biden.
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