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n the days following the catastrophic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, members of the Biden administration are now pointing fingers at one another over the debacle.
On Wednesday, CNN reported that the Department of Defense and the State Department are at odds with one another and the Intelligence Community.
The three blocks are blaming each other for the systemic failures that led to the collapse of the Afghan government and subsequent Taliban takeover, which happened within a matter of days.
“Military officials have said that for weeks they urged the State Department to move faster in evacuating its diplomatic personnel. State Department officials have said they were operating based on intelligence assessments that suggested they had more time, but intelligence officials insist that they had long reported the possibility of a rapid Taliban takeover,” CNN reported.
According to CNN, an intelligence assessment produced by the Intelligence Community estimated that the Taliban was seeking to overthrow the government in Afghanistan and establish a total military victory, according to a source familiar with the assessment.
The internal report came despite US efforts to negotiate for peace with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, with the Biden administration continuing to express confidence in those negotiations.
On July 8, President Joe Biden confidently informed the press that the Afghan government would not fall thanks to its armaments and training provided by the US military.
The President promised that we would not see mass evacuations, like the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War.
Last weekend’s events proved Biden wrong, forcing him to make numerous seemingly contradictory statements pinning the disaster on a multitude of different factors, including blaming the Afghan military’s will to fight, as well as Donald Trump, from who Biden claims he inherited the Afghan problem.
A New York Times report on Tuesday directly conflicts with the Biden administration’s claim that the fall of Afghanistan was sudden and unexpected, reporting that the administration knew of the potential outcome no less than three weeks ago, that Afghanistan was on the verge of collapsing to the Taliban incursion.
“Classified assessments by American spy agencies over the summer painted an increasingly grim picture of the prospect of a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and warned of the rapid collapse of the Afghan military, even as President Biden and his advisers said publicly that was unlikely to happen as quickly, according to current and former American government officials,” the newspaper reported.
“By July, many intelligence reports grew more pessimistic, questioning whether any Afghan security forces would muster serious resistance and whether the government could hold on in Kabul, the capital,” the report continued. “President Biden said on July 8 that the Afghan government was unlikely to fall and that there would be no chaotic evacuations of Americans similar to the end of the Vietnam War.”
Ahead of the report, White House officials told CNN that “Biden got bad advice from some of his top military and intelligence advisors.” The New York Times report contradicts this claim.
“One White House official pointed to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley’s comments from three weeks ago when he suggested the Afghan forces had the capacity to fight for and defend their country, and that a Taliban takeover was not a foregone conclusion,” CNN reported on Tuesday.
Despite claims and denials from the Biden administration, military officials refuted the administration, telling CNN that they warned the State Department for weeks that it needed to evacuate embassy employees.
Indeed, the US embassy in Kabul withdrew several personnel over the past few months, but only accelerated the evacuation in the final week as the Taliban started taking over Afghanistan.
Biden’s claim that the Afghan military refused to put up a fight against the Taliban is also in dispute as reports on Wednesday show that remnants of the Afghan military are continuing to fight against the Taliban, most notably in Panjshir Valley, where they scored a major victory against Taliban forces in the region.
White House to send more than $300 million in aid to Afghanistan despite Taliban control
The White House announced plans Tuesday to send more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan as millions face starvation under the new Taliban government following President Joe Biden’s withdrawal.
The assistance would be given by the United States Agency for International Development through “independent humanitarian organizations” to the Afghan people, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said.
The administration has been criticized for sending aid to Afghanistan previously. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned that it would be “foolish” and asserted that the Taliban “would take the money.”
“This brings total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $782 million since October 2021, and we remain the single largest donor of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan,” Horne said, adding that the U.S. has also given 4.3 million COVID-19 doses to the Afghan people.
Assistance will “help provide lifesaving protection and shelter, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by COVID-19 and healthcare shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the winter season,” Horne said.
China sent assistance to Afghanistan last month to help the nation prepare for winter and build ties between the Chinese Communist Party and the new jihadist government.
“The United States is committed to supporting the Afghan people and we continue to consider all options available to us,” Horne concluded. “We stand with the people of Afghanistan.”
ARTICLE: Fort Hood soldier found dead behind barracks
The soldier was identified as Spc. Maxwell Hockin, who was assigned to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He entered the Army in March 2017 as a combat engineer, Fort Hood officials said Wednesday.
Hockin’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, officials said.
Hockin had been at the Texas base since July 2017, where he was assigned to the 91st Engineer Battalion.
“The entire Saber family is devastated by the loss of our true teammate and friend Specialist Maxwell Hockin,” Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander, 91st Engineer Battalion, said in a statement Wednesday. “He had an outstanding work ethic, was a mentor to his peers, and was always willing to help out the team. He will truly be missed. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Maxwell’s family during this difficult time.”
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A good question How many American are still in Afghanistan… those who should know don’t.
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