This is how the US exit plan from Afghanistan disintegrated


A week later, on July 2, Biden, in an enthusiastic mood, gathered a small group of reporters to celebrate New job numbers Which he said showed that his economic recovery plan was working. But all the questions he received were about news from Afghanistan about the United States Abandoned Bagram Air Force Base, with little or no notice to Afghans.

“This is a rational withdrawal with our allies, so there is nothing unusual about it,” he insisted.

But as questions continued about Afghanistan rather than the economy, he seemed visibly upset. He recalled Mr. Ghani’s visit and said, “I think they have the ability to maintain the government,” although he added that there should be negotiations with the Taliban.

Then, for the first time, he was pressed about what the administration would do to save Kabul if it came under direct attack. “I want to talk about the happy stuff, man,” he said. He insisted on having a plan.

“We’ve worked on a capacity that has gone beyond the horizon,” he said, meaning the administration has contingency plans in place if things go wrong. “But the Afghans have to be able to do it themselves with the air force that they have, which we help them maintain,” he said. But by that time, most of the American contractors who helped keep the Afghan planes in flight had been withdrawn from Bagram with the troops. Military and intelligence officials admit they are concerned that the Afghans will not be able to stay in the air.

By July 8, nearly all US forces were out of Afghanistan as the Taliban continued their push across the country. In a speech that day from the White House defending his decision to leave, Biden was in trouble trying to express his doubts about the capabilities of Afghan forces while being careful not to undermine their government. Then, he responded angrily to a reporter’s comparison to Vietnam by insisting that “there will never be a circumstance where you see people being lifted from the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan. It is absolutely not comparable.”

But five days later, roughly two dozen American diplomats, all at the Kabul embassy, ​​sent a note directly to Mr. Blinken via the State Department’s “dissent” channel. the wire, First reported by the Wall Street JournalHe urged that flights to evacuate Afghans begin within two weeks and that the administration move faster to register them for visas.

The next day, in a move already underway, the White House It’s called intense effort “Operation Allied Sanctuary.”

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