Biden administration releases summary of reports on Afghanistan withdrawal

President Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday released a summary of after-action reports on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying “there were no signs that more time, more funds or more Americans” could have fundamentally changed the trajectory.

The 12-page document said the administration, in a lesson learned, now errs on the side of “aggressive communication” about risks in a destabilized security environment.

“America is on a stronger strategic footing more capable to support Ukraine and to meet our security commitments around the world, as well as the competition with China, because it is not fighting a ground war in Afghanistan,” John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said on Thursday.

The White House sharply criticized former president Donald Trump’s administration, saying Biden inherited a chaotic, depleted operation in Afghanistan that crippled its response.

“Transitions matter,” Kirby said, and Biden was left with a stark choice – withdraw all US forces, or resume fighting with the Taliban.

The Taliban overran Afghanistan in August 2021 as the former Western-backed government in Kabul collapsed with surprising speed and the last US troops withdrew. Under Biden’s Republican predecessor Trump, the US made a deal with the Taliban to withdraw all American forces.

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