The White House has given a murky picture of the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, but one thing is clear: nobody in charge, from President Joe Biden to the military and intelligence officials that spent two decades propping up a shaky regime, is about to take responsibility for the debacle.
As thousands of Americans remain stranded following a Taliban coup, the current administration has fallen into a frantic blame game, Fox News reports, with Biden, the military, the CIA, and the State Department all pointing the finger.
Biden admin points fingers
While Biden has said that he was blindsided by how fast Afghanistan collapsed, the Wall Street Journal reports that his top diplomats and generals, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, “urged Mr. Biden to keep a force of about 2,500 troops” in the country — advice he rejected.
In an ABC interview Wednesday, Biden insisted he never received any such warnings. “That wasn’t true,” Biden said, according to USA Today. “No one said that to me that I can recall.”
Biden also reportedly claimed the “intelligence community did not say, back in June or July, that, in fact, this was going to collapse like it did,” but that’s not what the spies are saying.
Indeed, Biden appears to be the target of a whisper campaign as NBC reports that the CIA predicted the collapse, but their warnings went unheeded.
The Pentagon is also refusing to take any responsibility for losing America’s longest war, as Fox notes, opting to blame the Afghans for the collapse of a government the U.S. spent trillions of dollars, 20 years, and sacrificed thousands of lives supporting.
Stuck in Afghanistan
The excuses are flying left and right. Gen. Milley has sought to give the impression that, until about two weeks ago, America was winning.
“There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days,” he said Wednesday, according to Fox.
Meanwhile, the State Department says they received flimsy intelligence suggesting they had months more than they thought to evacuate Afghan civilians, and Biden, of course, is blaming former President Donald Trump and the Afghans, despite saying “the buck stops with me” last week.
It all makes for a pathetic display as thousands of Americans remain marooned in a dangerous country with no clear messaging from the White House on when, or if, they will get out.
According to CNBC, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin echoed State Department warnings Wednesday that the military cannot guarantee safe exit for those not already at Kabul’s airport.