In the wake of a Taliban uprising in Afghanistan that left thousands of Americans trapped behind enemy lines, one report suggests the U.S. military is focused on appearances.
According to the Washington Examiner, military leaders have asked British forces to refrain from rescuing Americans from Afghanistan because U.S. forces were not doing the same.
“Firmly rejected the request”
Unnamed U.S. military sources asserted that Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the commanding general of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, told a counterpart in the British military that U.K. operations to rescue Americans outside of the Kabul airport was embarrassing to the U.S. military.
Examiner writer Tom Rogan reported that the British military official “firmly rejected the request.”
At this point, logistical limitations and political pressure appear to be preventing the U.S. from running the same type of rescue operations, according to Rogan. In any case, he denounced American officers for seeking to prevent British troops from assisting simply because of how it might look from the outside.
American soldiers are protecting the Kabul airport and keeping it open for the evacuation of troops, American citizens, and allies. With Taliban checkpoints throughout the city, however, it has been difficult for most individuals to make it there.
The British military has continued to clash with Taliban fighters in an attempt to clear the way for Americans and others to achieve safe passage to the airport.
The blame game
Instead of responding with gratitude and accepting the assistance, some military leaders were apparently preoccupied with the optics.
If the reports about Donahue are accurate, he seems to be following Biden’s lead in requesting British forces to stand down.
While the president might not have given Donahue a direct order, he has been accused of showing a callous lack of concern for the thousands of Americans and allies still trapped behind enemy lines.
For his part, Biden has attempted to shift the blame to others, including his claim that the intelligence community had not established a consensus that the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan would play out so rapidly.
The allegation that one of his generals would attempt to prevent British troops from helping Americans is just one more sign that the Biden administration has thoroughly botched the U.S. troop withdrawal.