Biden’s Review Highlights Trump’s Chaotic Afghan Withdrawal Plan

by Michael Nguyen
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President Joe Biden’s government said that the dangerous and confusing withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021 was due to actions taken by his predecessor, President Donald Trump. This situation made for some of the most difficult times during Biden’s presidency.

The White House released a 12-page report which evaluated the outcomes of the US policies related to bringing an end to the longest war. The report said that Joe Biden, who is President now, wasn’t able to make as many decisions because his predecessor Donald Trump had already made many decisions earlier.

The US recognises that it should have left Afghanistan earlier, however this was blocked by the Afghan Government, as well as America’s own military and intelligence organisations.

The White House and President Biden made a document together. The State Department and the Pentagon looked at it very carefully, but they decided to not share it with everyone since the information was really private. They will only share it with Congress on Thursday.

President Biden had limited options regarding how to end the war in Afghanistan due to what his predecessor had done before him. It seems that when President Biden took office, the Taliban were really powerful as they controlled or had some influence over around half of the country.

Trump accused the Biden government of creating a false story to hide their ‘incompetence’ in finishing the work in Afghanistan. He said it’s all on Biden, not anyone else. The report states that intelligence agents were too optimistic about how quickly the Afghan army would be able to fight and that Biden obeyed military commanders for when it was safe to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan.

John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said on Thursday that they didn’t make the right decision. He also didn’t answer questions about if Biden has any regrets for his actions causing them to withdraw. Kirby instead stated that their purpose was not to ‘blame’ anyone but merely to understand events so as to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

The White House believes it made the right choice when it stood up for Ukraine by helping them protect their country from Russia’s invasion. They even prepared for possible bad outcomes before February 2022 and helped share information about what Russia was planning to do months earlier.

The White House also said that they wanted people to be ready and leave early in case a dangerous situation occurs.

The Biden administration recently made a decision about security and they pointed out that even though some high-ranking officials in Ukraine disagreed with the decision, it was released anyway. Furthermore, Republicans have been angry about this because of a suicide bombing at Kabul airport which caused the death of 13 US military members as well as over 100 Afghan people.

Shawn Vandiver, a Navy veteran who started the #AfghanEvac program to help Afghans get out of their country safely, thinks that the latest report by the National Security Council is a positive step forward. He said in an statement that they were really happy with this report and focused on continuing their work to help people leave Afghanistan safely.

Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas did not agree and tweeted saying that the withdrawal was a total failure. He added that just having a report about this won’t change what happened.

The government in charge has suggested that the U.S. military might have made a mistake which caused the suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26, 2021.

To protect against any potential terrorist attacks, the President asked if the military needed extra help. However, senior military officials said they already had enough power and resources to handle the situation. General Kirby praised U.S forces for completing one of the biggest evacuations ever in history during the chaos in Kabul.

The President said that it wouldn’t be cheap or without risks for the U.S. to end their longest war. After the U.S withdrew, Biden said that a deal Trump made in Qatar was responsible for weakening the government soon after. Analysts also thought this agreement was a bad move.

The U.S.-Taliban Doha agreement made it so that 5,000 Taliban prisoners could be set free as part of the plan to have peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban. According to Kirby, President Biden was left with a lot of problems due to all this that caused people to feel neglected and ignored.

The United States and the Taliban had an agreement that, in case the promised Afghani peace talks did not happen, the US would be allowed to stop the withdrawal it agreed to with the Talibans. The US was supposed to finish their withdrawal by 1st May 2021 but President Biden only delayed it until September, saying that this long war needs to come to a close.

After the U.S. left Afghanistan, they did a very good job in stopping terrorism by killing Ayman al-Zawahri – who was one of the most important members of Al-Qaida during September 11th attacks. The White House thinks that it showed that terror groups can still be defeated even when the U.S is no longer present in Afghanistan.

When Kabul fell, it was chaotic and dangerous. Images of people jumping off planes to save their lives, families passing babies through airports fences to keep them safe, and destruction caused by suicide bombs remain in our minds.

A report from the U.S. government’s special inspector general in February which said that if both the Trump and Biden administrations take away all of the U.S. military support for Afghanistan, it could cause the Afghan military to fall apart due to low morale among their soldiers and police officers.

At a press conference Thursday, spokespeople from the US government were asked many questions by reporters. The spokesperson kept defending their response and how they were doing their best to help Americans leave the country safely. At one point, the spokesperson took a pause as if they were trying to stay composed and calm.

Kirby, who was the spokesperson at the Pentagon during the departure process, said: “From my viewpoint, I couldn’t find any chaos. Every 48 minutes a plane left with both Afghani and American people- and no flights were missed! So I don’t agree that chaos was present.”

The NSC review has been released during a fight between the State Department and House Republicans, who are trying to get documents about America’s plan to leave Afghanistan. Rep. Michael McCaul, a politician from Texas who runs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was very angry at what was said and called it “very rude”. Five reporters wrote articles about this situation.

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