It’s been a year since the Afghan government fell and Republicans vow to hold President Joe Biden responsible for the disastrous troop withdrawal that paved the way for the Taliban to come to power.
Meanwhile, the White House is still cleaning up and defending a memo on Capitol Hill claiming that the withdrawal has strengthened US national security interests by releasing military and intelligence agents who have served in Afghanistan for the past 20 years.
The blame comes as Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee released an interim report Sunday, laying responsibility for President Joe Biden and highlighting the failures of the government’s preparations for evacuations.
The memo from National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson is a rebuttal that blames former President Donald Trump for reaching the Doha Agreement, a deal struck with the Taliban to keep the US out of Afghanistan by May 2021. evacuate.
As the finger-pointing continues in Washington, Biden will remain in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, on Monday for his nearly week-long family beach vacation.
“The interim report is riddled with inaccurate characterizations, plucked information and false claims,” Watson wrote in her memo in response to the GOP’s report.
Republicans vow to hold President Joe Biden responsible for the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan on the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover of the government. Pictured: Taliban fighters celebrate outside the US embassy in Afghanistan, exactly one year after the capture of Kabul
With the total withdrawal on August 30, 2021, hundreds of Americans were left behind — and a new report shows 800 Americans have since been brought back from Afghanistan. Pictured: Hundreds of people run next to a US Air Force C-17 transport plane on August 16, 2021
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden continued his family vacation on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, on Monday. The president was spotted on his bike on the beach on Sunday, August 14, 2021 with first lady Jill and granddaughter Finnegan Biden
Biden’s withdrawal deadline angered many – September 11, 2021. But the total withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan was completed on August 30, 2021 when the last C-17 carried the last US troops from Afghanistan, marking the formal end of the longest war in American history.
August 15, 2021 was the day when Taliban fighters invaded Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and President Ashraf Ghani fled.
Republicans and Democrats are using the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover to re-examine last year’s events that led to the suicide bombings of 13 US servicemen and left behind hundreds of Americans and thousands of Afghan allies.
Since the Taliban came to power and all troops left Afghanistan, the U.S. government has evacuated more than 800 U.S. civilians, according to data from House GOP researchers and the State Department. provided to Politico.
While the data points to ongoing efforts to bring Americans home, they also prove that hundreds more civilians were left in Afghanistan than the 100-200 previously believed to have been left there in the total withdrawal.
Two weeks after the last US military plane left Kabul, Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers there were only 100 US citizens left in Afghanistan who wanted to leave.
According to a report by the GOP Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the US evacuated 479 Americans from Afghanistan in February 2022. And the Republican staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has now found in a withdrawal inquiry that 800 Americans were aided after the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Texas GOP Representative Michael McCaul led the interim report. He is the highest-ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is likely to chair the panel if Republicans regain a majority in the 2022 midterm elections in November.
Taliban fighters drive in a convoy near the US embassy in Kabul on Monday, August 15, 2021, marking a year since they took control of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops
The report claims Biden’s decisions about how to carry out that evacuation were what caused the disastrous turnout, not the timeline set out by Trump’s agreement.
“There was a complete lack and a failure to plan. There was no plan and no plan was executed,” McCaul said on CBS’s Sunday morning program Face the Nation. “There were so many mistakes.”
The minority group leader Kevin McCarthy promised in an op-ed Monday that Republicans would continue to look for answers regarding the withdrawal, including the report released the day before.
“These strategic failures are too serious to ignore,” he wrote after noting the Americans’ lag, military deaths, billions in military equipment left behind for the Taliban, and the rapid fall of the government the US had been trying for twenty years. to maintain.
“That’s why House Republicans are committed to seeking answers to Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,” McCarthy added in the statement. Fox News opinion piece. “As part of those efforts, Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee will publish a comprehensive report this week that sheds light on the catastrophic flaws of the Biden disaster in Afghanistan.”
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a CNN interview broadcast on Sunday that the announcement of Biden’s withdrawal has caused the international community to drop support for his government and the eventual rise of the Taliban.
Despite a consensus that the pullout was a failure, the White House claims in its Capitol Hill memo that what Republicans wanted was a “false choice.”
“Our top intelligence experts have estimated — and recent history has shown — that eventually we would have to send more US troops into danger just to avoid humiliating the stalemate in a 20-year war,” Watson wrote in her statement. memo.
“The president rejected the impossible notion that a so-called low-threshold endeavor could have maintained a stalemate,” she added. “There’s nothing low-grade, low-risk, or low-cost about a war — and there were no signs that more time, money, or more importantly, Americans at risk in Afghanistan would have produced different results.”
The memo also praised the recent strike that killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as proof that the US does not need to maintain a permanent troop presence to take down terrorism.
Although it is a gloomy day for the US defense and national security community, the Taliban are celebrating on Monday, August 15.
Fighters chant victory slogans next to the US embassy in Kabul on Monday to mark the one-year anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters fire shots into the air as they disperse a rare gathering of women chanting ‘Bread, work and freedom’ as they marched in front of the Ministry of Education building and held their fists in the air on August 13, 2021
The past year has been turbulent in Afghanistan, with women seeing their rights crushed and a humanitarian crisis in the country worsening.
“We have fulfilled the obligation of jihad and liberated our country,” said Niamatullah Hekmat, a fighter who entered the capital on August 15, 2021, just hours after then-President Ghani fled the country.
“It is the day of victory and happiness for the Afghan Muslims and the people. It is the day of conquest and victory of the white flag,” government spokesman Bilal Karimi said on Twitter.