Internal documents have been leaked from the White House that prove Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration was massively unprepared for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
The leaked docs show the Biden admin discussed the “Relocations out of Afghanistan” in a meeting held at 3:30-4:30 pm on the afternoon of Aug. 14.
Taliban fighters seized Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021.
The meeting was chaired by National Security Council official Liz Sherwood-Randall.
One of the few doc leaks from the administration.
“That so much planning, prioritizing and addressing of key questions had not been completed, even as Kabul was about to fall, underscores the absence of adequate interagency planning.” https://t.co/urcKG297N5
— Sam Stein (@samstein) February 2, 2022
“While we’re not going to comment on leaked internal documents, cherry-picked notes from one meeting do not reflect the months of work that were already underway,” NSC spokesperson Emily Horne said.
“Earlier that summer, we launched Operation Allies Refuge and had worked with Congress to pass legislation that gave us greater flexibility to quickly relocate Afghan partners,” Horne said.
“It was because of this type of planning and other efforts that we were able to facilitate the evacuation of more than 120,000 Americans, legal permanent residents, vulnerable Afghans and other partners,” Horne added.
Mark Jacobson, deputy NATO representative in Afghanistan during the Obama administration, said:
“That so much planning, prioritizing and addressing of key questions had not been completed, even as Kabul was about to fall, underscores the absence of adequate interagency planning.
“This is especially surprising given the depth of experience on Afghanistan and contingency operations at that table.”
The leaked documents are from a meeting the day before Kabul fell and show team Biden way behind on simple tasks.
Action items decided in meeting included:
“State will work to identify as many countries as possible to serve as transit points. Transit points need to be able to accommodate U.S. citizens, Afghan nationals, third country nationals, and other evacuees. (Action: State, immediately)”
“Embassy Kabul will notify LES [locally employed staff] to begin to register their interest in relocation to the United States and begin to prepare immediately for departure… (Action: Embassy Kabul, immediately)”
…Many outside advisers were sounding the alarm as the Taliban swept through provincial capitals heading into August.
“I kept being told by people in the [White House] the thing they were most concerned about was the optics of a chaotic evacuation,” said Matt Zeller, a former CIA officer who contacted administration officials in February 2021 about protecting Afghans who worked with the Americans. “They treated us like we were Chicken Little. They didn’t believe the sky was falling.”
“On the 13th of July, we offered to work with them to help evacuate our partners,” Zeller added. “We all saw this disaster coming before the inevitable occurred. They didn’t get back to us until Aug 15, the day Kabul fell.”
The meeting notes – published here in full – highlight how many crucial actions the Biden administration was deciding at the last minute, just hours before Kabul would fall and former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani would flee his palace in a helicopter.
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) February 2, 2022