Biden review blames Trump’s decisions for messy Afghanistan withdrawal while sending reports to Congress

(CNN) President Joe Biden’s administration blamed the conditions created by President Donald Trump Confused withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, according to a summary of the findings of the post-administration-level action review released Thursday.

12 page summary document Not openly admitting any wrongdoing. However, it acknowledges some of the lessons applied, including the speed of evacuating civilians and allies. It cited intelligence that provided overly rosy projections of the security situation and that Biden followed the recommendations of his military commanders in implementing the withdrawal.

Overall, the main interpretation of the summary is about a difficult situation Because of Trump’s decisions while in officeIncluding a deal with the Taliban that requires US troops to withdraw by May 2021.

Declassified findings from long-awaited reviews by the State Department and the Pentagon were sent to Congress on Thursday, fulfilling a White House pledge to release information following a bloody and chaotic withdrawal that included a deadly bombing at Kabul International Airport.The cap killed 13 American troops.

In comments detailing the report’s summary, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby supported Biden’s decision to withdraw and emphasized the job the administration has done since they took office.

“Despite his limited options, President Biden led a deliberate, rigorous and inclusive decision-making process that was responsive to the facts on the ground. He paid close attention to the need for sound planning,” Kirby said.

He rejected the idea that the withdrawal was confusing.

“For all this confusing talk, I don’t see it,” he said.

Decisions made by Trump’s administration “severely limited” Biden’s options to withdraw, the brief said. It says Biden has inherited a situation where “the Taliban are in their strongest military position since 2001, controlling or contesting half of the country.”

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It cites the deal Trump struck with the Taliban in 2020, arguing that it limited Biden’s options to withdraw US troops. Kirby also said the Trump administration provided little information or intelligence to the incoming Biden team about the situation in Afghanistan.

“Changes are important — that’s the first lesson learned here. And the incoming administration hasn’t been given one,” Kirby said.

Responding to the brief’s findings, Trump’s spokesman said, “Biden and his administration are trying to inflame the American people for a disastrous withdrawal in Afghanistan that has directly led to American deaths and emboldened terrorists.”

The brief strongly supports Biden’s order to fully rescind the decision, which he argued was necessary to end the 20-year conflict in Afghanistan.

“There is no indication that more time, more funding, or more Americans at stake in Afghanistan would have provided a fundamentally different path,” the summary says.

Much of the confusion surrounding the withdrawal involves efforts to bring back Americans and Afghans who have helped the war effort, including interpreters. One of the most shocking images from the era is the desperate Afghans clinging to the American plane as it took off, then left to die.

After a flurry of efforts to evacuate American citizens and those helping the American war effort, the administration said it was now working to facilitate earlier departures in other circumstances.

“We are now prioritizing earlier withdrawals when faced with a deteriorating security situation,” the summary says, using the war in Ukraine as an example of earlier withdrawals.

Similarly, management will work to more assertively communicate the risks of staying in unsafe conditions.

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“In an environment of security disruption, we now err on the side of aggressive communication about risks,” the brief reads.

Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, several federal agencies conducted investigations. Their release was originally targeted for the one-year anniversary of the dragnet, but was delayed as agencies completed their work.

A defense official told CNN that the after-action report was commissioned by the National Defense University. The NDU is funded by the Department of Defense but officials have characterized the review carried out by the NDU as “independent”.

Following the US withdrawal in August 2021, the Afghan government collapsed and the Taliban quickly returned to power.

A blast outside Kabul International Airport’s Abbey Gate killed 13 US service members — 11 Marines, 1 soldier and 1 sailor — and approximately 170 Afghans.

President Joe Biden ordered reviews to determine what went wrong.

We will take care of every aspect from top to bottom, he said.

After taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans also began looking into Afghanistan withdrawal, requesting documents and communications as part of their investigation.

This story has been updated with additional updates.

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