[ad_1] NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles! The Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan faced new scrutiny on Tu
NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
The Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan faced new scrutiny on Tuesday after a news outlet said it obtained leaked notes from the White House Situation Room that showed “just how unprepared” they were to evacuate Afghan nationals who assisted Americans during the conflict.
Axios first reported on the alleged leaked documents and claimed they showed how many “crucial actions” the U.S. was lining up just as Kabul began to fall to the Taliban. Emily Horne, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, downplayed the weight of these documents and told the website that– although she could not comment on these particular items–“cherry-picked notes from one meeting do not reflect the months of work that were already underway.”
The report said the NSC meeting took place on Aug. 14 at about 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET. One of the action items included in the summary of conclusions was the State Department identifying “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.”
The question is how Afghanistan could be hours from being overthrown and these issues evidently not nailed down. The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to after-hour emails from Fox News.
Biden announced in April that the last 2,500-3,500 U.S. troops would leave along with NATO’s 7,500 troops, following a deal reached with the Taliban by the Trump administration. The announcement started a rapid collapse of the Afghan defense forces.
The Taliban’s sweep through the country was swift, with many areas falling without a fight as Afghan troops — many of whom had not received their salaries from the Afghan government in months — fled. Afghan warplanes continued to hit Taliban positions in some areas in June and July last year, but it was not enough to stem the tide.
Twenty-four hours after the last American C-17 cargo plane roared off from Kabul, Biden spoke to the nation and vigorously defended his decision to end America’s longest war and withdraw all U.S. troops ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline.
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“I was not going to extend this forever war,” Biden declared from the White House. “And I was not going to extend a forever exit.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report