CNN reported Tuesday “shitshow” infighting has begun to occupy the White House as thousands of American citizens are stranded within Afghanistan.
The infighting is primarily between the State Department and the United State’s military, which are blaming each other for the failed Afghan evacuation and withdrawal, reported CNN.
The State Department claims they were acting on an intelligence assessment that predicted Afghanistan had “more time” before the Taliban could take “total” control of the country, but intelligence officials have rejected that claim.
Meanwhile, President Biden said Monday he blamed “Afghan security forces’ unwillingness to fight and the decisions of previous administrations,” while the administration watched the country fall in a matter of hours under “his watch.” CNN continued:
Some officials insist that Biden got bad advice from some of his top military and intelligence advisers. 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.
The military claims they told the State Department any future “last-minute emergency evacuation — if needed — would be more difficult the more staffers remained.”
“Utter bunk,” the official told CNN.
But CNN reports the military believes they “were actually prepared for the worst” and were “urging the State Department for weeks to begin withdrawing embassy employees in Kabul. Pentagon officials used the words ‘frustration”‘ and ‘sh*tshow’ to describe their feelings about Washington and Kabul.”
The Biden administration’s infighting comes as media reports suggest 10,000 to 40,000 American citizens have been stranded in Afghanistan. “Most are scrambling to escape. Some are dual nationals or children of Americans who may not have the proper passport or visas, but the State Department has not told them how to fix their paperwork” a Washington Post columnist wrote.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby claimed Tuesday only 5,000 and 10,000 Americans are trapped. Another White House official said only 700 Americans will be evacuated on Tuesday. Monday saw only 150 Americans evacuated.
The below note went out this afternoon to American citizens requesting to be evacuated from Afghanistan, @alanacbs reports. It instructs people to come to Hamid Karzai Intl Airport in Kabul, but says the US govt cannot guarantee their safety as they make the trip. @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/rgEyjGup4K
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) August 17, 2021
The White House press Secretary said Tuesday during the press briefing there are about 11,000 “self-identified” Americans inside Afghanistan.
NEW: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says there are 11,000 “self-identified” Americans inside/outside Kabul.
Asked whether Americans should be prioritized for evacuations:
“We are prioritizing a number of groups.”
— Jenn Franco KESQ (@jennfranconews) August 17, 2021
National security advisor Jake Sullivan, whom a former Obama official said should be fired for the crisis, would not comment Tuesday on if American troops would stay to ensure all Americans had left the country.
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