Watchdog Report on Afghan Collapse Blames Withdrawal, Lack of Planning

    Photo: wsj

    The Facts

    • A report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released on Monday claimed that years of problems with planning and US oversight, along with the withdrawal of American troops, contributed to the collapse of the Western-backed government in Kabul in 2021.

    • The report also claimed that the withdrawal's announcement earlier in 2021 “destroyed the morale of Afghan soldiers and police” who had “long relied on the US military’s presence” for their own protection, as well as to ensure the Kabul government paid their salaries.

    The Spin

    Republican narrative

    The evidence continues to mount that the Biden admin.'s rushed and chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan directly led to the fall of Kabul and the Taliban returning to power. There's no excuse for the unjust suffering the Afghan people have endured since then, all because Biden wanted to score some cheap political points. While it was Trump who signed the Doha Agreement, it was ultimately Biden who executed a botched withdrawal.

    Democratic narrative

    The US's disastrous invasion and occupation of Afghanistan under George W. Bush, not Biden's withdrawal, are to blame for the fall of Kabul and the current security crisis. The fact that Afghan security forces crashed immediately following the US withdrawal indicates that the security situation was simply unsustainable, and the collapse was essentially inevitable. There are, of course, valid criticisms of the withdrawal, but most have been unnecessary partisan attacks against Biden.

    Political split



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