President Joe Biden has received criticism from his own military officials that he “waited too long” to begin evacuating American assets before completely withdrawing from Afghanistan.
“We could have done a lot more to help. The administration waited too long,” a military official told Reuters. “Every decision has come too late and in reaction to events that make the subsequent decision obsolete.”
Kabul planes mobbed as Afghans make a desperate dash to exit
— AFP Photo (@AFPphoto) August 16, 2021
“The source and another U.S. official told Reuters that the administration so badly misjudged the situation that the State Department flew a regular rotation of diplomats into Kabul last Tuesday even as the Taliban advanced toward the capital,” Reuters wrote.
A second military official also told Reuters that he is “frustrated, disgusted and in disbelief today” over the tragic miscalculations that have left Americans, non-governmental organizations, and media members stranded within a country experiencing dramatic chaos amid Taliban terror.
Biden apologized in a speech to the world Monday but did not take responsibility for the frazzled withdraw. Instead, he defended his decision to withdraw, not the undue chaos from the withdraw.
“I am president of the United States and the buck stops with me,” he claimed. “I’m deeply saddened by the facts we now face but I do not regret my decision to end America’s warfighting in Afghanistan.”
“American troops cannot – and should not – be fighting in a war—and dying in a war—that the Afghans are not willing to fight for themselves,” he said, avoiding remarks about the withdraw.
The disorderly withdraw has also caused finger pointing within the Democrat apparatus. Former Obama official Brett Bruen wrote Monday that Biden must terminate national security adviser Jake Sullivan for failing to safely withdraw from Afghanistan.
“Yes, Biden wanted out of Afghanistan. It was on Sullivan to figure out how to achieve the president’s goal while ensuring we avoided potential pitfalls and problems. That’s clearly not what happened,” Bruen explained in USA Today. “While he knows all the theories and academic arguments in foreign policy, his overseas experience is less robust. It can lead to the disconnect between ideas and implementation.”
“Yes, we were always going to pull out. It was a question of how and when. Both of those were decisions that Sullivan had to use his role to carefully guide,” Bruen continued.
Video from the chaotic withdraw depicts individuals clamoring to board flights out of the country. A second video shows an individual clinging to what appears to be an American military aircraft while took off, falling many feet to the ground:
— Nicola Careem (@NicolaCareem) August 16, 2021
Desperate Afghans clinging to a USAF C-17 as it’s taking off fall to their deaths. pic.twitter.com/FYSopteQbg
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) August 16, 2021
By Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported seven people had died at the airport alone. The Taliban are now in control of the entire city, except the airpot, where Biden sent thousands of more troops to secure the continued evacuation.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø