August 13, 2021

'This got bungled': Biden’s two tragic Afghanistan missteps

Featuring Lisa Curtis

Source: POLITICO

Journalist Alexander Ward

As NatSec Daily talks to our contacts, we’re hearing two nuanced critiques of President JOE BIDEN and the quickly spiraling situation in Afghanistan.

First: While the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was completely defensible after 20 years of war, the way the administration has mishandled the pullout — culminating in 3,000 troops surging to Kabul to evacuate personnel from the American embassy — has been nothing short of disastrous. It’s gotten so bad that ZALMAY KHALILZAD, the under-fire U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, is pleading with the Taliban not to attack the embassy if and when the militants target the capital city.

The Pentagon is already planning for a full withdrawal of the American mission in Kabul, three sources familiar with the preparation tell NatSec Daily, with two separately saying U.S. Central Command sees a full embassy evacuation as “inevitable.” And the embassy’s facility manager sent out a memo to staff Friday ordering them to start destroying sensitive documents and equipment now.

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Authors

  • Lisa Curtis

    Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She is a foreign policy and national securit...