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An Unconvincing Afghanistan Apologia

An Unconvincing Afghanistan Apologia
Tue, 04/11/2023 – 10:44
Last week, the Biden administration released an unsigned twelve-page “document on the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan,” which tried to put a favorable face on the chaotic 2021 withdrawal. The report portrays President Biden as a wise leader who “undertook a deliberate, intensive, rigorous, and inclusive decision-making process,” only to fall prey to bad intelligence and circumstances beyond his control. At no point did it mention numerous reports, both before and after the fiasco, that top advisers cautioned the president against total withdrawal from Afghanistan. Instead, the bluster of the report harks back to his remarks of August 31, 2021, in which he celebrated the “extraordinary success” of pulling out of Afghanistan.

Those remarks briefly discussed the Doha agreement that “the previous administration”—President Trump was not mentioned by name—made with the Taliban (“which is not recognized by the United States as a state”). The Doha agreement called for the United States to cut its troop levels down to 8,600 within 135 days, close five bases, and release 5,000 prisoners, all with the goal of completing its exit by March 2021. But the agreement was contingent on the Taliban and the Afghan government, …read more

Source:: Hoover Institution


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