Adding to an already chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan was a bloody terrorist attack near the Kabul airport in which 13 American service members were killed.
As Americans sort through the costs of a nearly 20-year conflict, a new report indicates that the Pentagon had knowledge of the location and time of the deadly attack in Kabul last week.
Defense Department spokesman John Kirby hit back against the Politico report in a press conference on Monday, though he notably did not deny its underlying claims.
Top generals including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley are said to have been concerned about a “mass casualty event” at the airport at least 24 hours prior to the explosions on Thursday.
Politico quoted Milley as expressing confidence in “significant” intelligence regarding a “complex attack” by ISIS-K.
Preparations were reportedly underway to close the Abbey Gate at the airport, but they were reportedly not executed in time because British forces had not yet finished evacuating from a nearby hotel.
Kirby declined to provide a comment on the matter but seemed to confirm the report by taking a swipe at Politico for publishing leaked information.
“I am absolutely not going to speak to a press story that was informed by the unlawful disclosure of classified information and sensitive deliberations here at the Pentagon,” Kirby asserted. “Just not going to do it.”
Meanwhile, Pentagon leaders appear to shirk responsibility for failures during the war and throughout the recent withdrawal, which could go down as one of the most humiliating military defeats in the nation’s history.
Over the past two decades, 2,500 Americans have been killed and trillions of dollars have been spent — all leading to the Taliban reclaiming control over war-torn Afghanistan.
Making matters worse, hundreds of Americans and even more allies are reportedly stranded behind enemy lines after the final U.S. troops evacuated earlier this week.
In a speech on Tuesday, Biden denounced what he dubbed a “forever war” while attempting to place the blame on his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, as well as the Afghan government. It seems clear, however, that the American people and allies around the world are going to judge this administration harshly for what has been a thoroughly chaotic end to America’s involvement in Afghanistan.