How badly did the Biden administration mishandle the Afghanistan debacle?
Hours before the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan’s capital on Aug. 15, 2021, senior Biden administration officials were still discussing and assigning basic actions involved in a mass civilian evacuation.
Outsiders were frustrated and suspicious the administration was having plenty of meetings but was stuck in bureaucratic inertia and lacked urgency until the last minute.
While the word “immediately” peppers the document, it’s clear officials were still scrambling to finalize their plans — on the afternoon of Aug. 14.
For example, they’d just decided they needed to notify local Afghan staff “to begin to register their interest in relocation to the United States,” the document says.
And they were still determining which countries could serve as transit points for evacuees.
Is it any wonder that the Biden admin evacuated a lot of Afghans who didn’t have visas, and then retroactively falsely claimed that they had been vetted?
What Axios doesn’t mention though is that the Taliban asked for permission to enter Kabul.
The Biden administration was offered the opportunity to retain Kabul for the evacuation and turned it down. So these last minute meetings were on a timetable that they accepted. That is to say that the only rush here was self-inflicted.
This didn’t have to be a worse version of the fall of Saigon. 13 Americans didn’t have to die. Americans didn’t have to be trapped behind enemy lines.
This was a decision the Biden administration made. Why it made it is a question that hardly anyone is asking.