On Thursday (April 6), the White House reignited criticism of its approach to withdrawing from Afghanistan in August 2021 by releasing a 12-page review of the decision-making process that led to the disastrous withdrawal.
The 12-page report primarily blamed the Trump administration for limiting President Joe Biden’s choices once he took office.
The report also insists that the Trump administration had created a hostile environment and limited Biden’s ability to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
However, Republicans disputed the White House’s characterization of the events in addition to comments made by national security spokesman John Kirby, foreshadowing the aggressive scrutiny the Biden administration will face from the GOP in the coming weeks, scrutiny that will highlight one of Biden’s lowest points in his first two years in office.
While the Biden administration evacuated roughly 100,000 allies and U.S. citizens from Afghanistan, the sudden fall of Kabul hastened the U.S. exit from the chaos. Thousands besieged Hamid Karzai International Airport, making evacuation difficult, while a suicide bomber killed 13 American soldiers and 170 Afghans.
Although the so-called After Action Review acknowledges those difficulties, the document, accompanied by Kirby’s comments, sets a controversial tone as several House Committees — under GOP leadership — plan to assess the impact of the withdrawal under GOP leadership.
The 12-page report also drew criticism from activists who pushed the administration to prepare for a negotiated withdrawal during the Trump administration to guarantee the successful evacuation of those who contributed to the U.S. campaign in the country.