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Biden Snaps at Reporter on Afghan Withdrawal, Tantrum Plays Right Into Taliban's Hands

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President Joe Biden offered the Taliban a talking point Friday, and the group was quick to capitalize upon it.

During a media appearance on Friday, Biden was asked about a State Department report that cast some blame on the Biden administration for the chaotic withdrawal of American troops .

“Mr. President, do you admit failure in Afghanistan? Mistakes? There was a — there was a report on Afghanistan withdrawal, saying there was failure, mistakes. Do you admit there was mistakes during the withdrawal and before?” the reporter asked, according to a White House transcript.

“No, no. All the evidence is coming back. Remember what I said about Afghanistan? I said al Qaeda would not be there. I said it wouldn’t be there. I said we’d get help from the Taliban. What’s happening now? What’s going on? Read your press. I was right,” Biden said before leaving the media appearance.

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The Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan was quick with a statement in response, according to Radio Free Europe.

“We consider remarks by U.S. President Joe Biden about the nonexistence of armed groups in Afghanistan as acknowledgement of reality,” it said.

Does Biden still need to answer for the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal?

The State Department report praised its staff for their efforts in the August 2021 crisis that saw the Taliban topple the Afghan government and criticized both the Trump and Biden administration for agreeing to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

In honing in on the withdrawal itself, the report said the speed of the Biden administration’s removal of troops “compounded the difficulties the Department faced in mitigating the loss of the military’s key enablers. Critically, the decision to hand over Bagram Air Base to the Afghan government meant that Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) would be the only avenue for a possible noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO).”


“U.S. military planning for a possible NEO had been underway with post for some time, but the Department’s participation in the NEO planning process was hindered by the fact that it was unclear who in the Department had the lead,” the report added.

As the crisis unfolded, “Constantly changing policy guidance and public messaging from Washington regarding which populations were eligible for relocation and how the embassy should manage outreach and flow added to the confusion and often failed to take into account key facts on the ground,” the report said.

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Among its recommendations, the report pointedly noted, “The Department must insulate contingency planning and emergency preparedness from political concerns.”

In an interview on Sunday, former Vice President Mike Pence, a contender for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, said the Biden administration should shoulder the blame for the death of 13 service members in a Kabul terrorist attack that took place during the evacuation, according to CBS.

“We went 18 months without a single American casualty to the day at that Kabul airport that we lost 13 brave American service members. The blame for what happened here falls squarely on the current commander in chief,” he said.


Pence said he and former President Donald Trump would not have withdrawn troops if the Taliban failed to live up to their end of a deal Trump made for the U.S. withdrawal.

“And under our administration, I promise you, that while — while it was our — it was the intention of the president, the former president to pull our troops out, when the Taliban broke the deal and moved into Mazar-e-Sharif and Joe Biden did nothing, that set into motion the catastrophe that became Afghanistan and the heartbreaking end to 20 years of conflict,” Pence said.

“I will tell you with deep conviction that that disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan would never have happened under our administration, because we would have held the Taliban to the deal. And I believe at the end of the day, Afghanistan would be a much different place today,” he said.

“And frankly, our security and our long-term interests would be far better off. No whitewash from the Pentagon is going to change that. The responsibility for that disastrous withdrawal falls squarely on President Joe Biden and the American people know it.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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