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A few weeks after former President Trump announced his bid for the 2024 presidential election and berated the Biden administration for its disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden White House released a report that placed the blame for the botched pullout solely on the former president.
Regardless of the fact that Biden was president at the time of the August 2021 withdrawal, and his administration was making all decisions in Afghanistan at the time that 13 U.S. service members were killed in a suicide bombing, the report absolves Joe Biden and his administration of any wrongdoing.
According to the administration's review, "President Biden's choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor." Not only does the official report not place any blame on the current administration, but National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also dodged holding the administration accountable in a press conference this week.
According to an NBC summary of the report, "The 12-page report by the National Security Council summarizes the administration's assessment of the withdrawal and largely blamed former President Donald Trump's administration for the chaos that unfolded as U.S. troops were leaving and as Americans and Afghans evacuated from the country. The Taliban took over the country's government and have remained in power."
Meanwhile, legislatures are expected to be provided a longer briefing created by the Pentagon and State Department that contains classified material.
The report also goes on to blame Trump for setting a target date for the withdrawal, but for offering "no plan for executing it." The report went on to accuse the Trump administration of not communicating sufficiently during the transition to the Biden administration due to Trump being unhappy about his failed re-election due to what he cited as rampant election fraud.
Kirby also seemed to assign blame to the U.S. intelligence community saying, "No agency predicted a Taliban takeover in nine days."
He also appeared to blame Afghans for a situation the U.S. was responsible for.
"No agency predicted the rapid fleeing of President [Ashraf] Ghani who had indicated to us his intent to remain in Afghanistan up until he departed on the 15th of August, and no agency predicted that the more than 300,000 trained and equipped Afghan National Security Defense Forces would fail to fight for their country, especially after 20 years of American support," Kirby added.
"Transitions matter. That's the first lesson learned here. And the incoming administration wasn't much of one. Thus, President Biden's choice was stark: either withdrawal of our forces or resume fighting with the Taliban. He chose the former," Kirby concluded.
During Kirby's press conference he not only found a way to blame the Trump administration for every major failure on the part of the Biden administration, but he also left no way for the intelligence community to defend itself against the report's accusations given that much of the information that would verify Kirby's claims is classified.
"During the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration, the outgoing Administration provided no plans for how to conduct the final withdrawal or to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies. Indeed, there were no such plans in place when President Biden came into office, even with the agreed upon full withdrawal just over three months away," the White House report concluded.