US cross on Taliban ask led to troop pullout chaos: GOP report

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WASHINGTON – The US made a deadly mistake final yr when it declined the Taliban’s provide to permit American troops to safe Kabul throughout their botched withdrawal, the highest Republican on the Home Overseas Affairs Committee argued in a report launched this week.

After the Western-backed Afghan authorities collapsed on Aug. 15, 2021, Taliban representatives instructed senior American army officers they’d keep out of Kabul if the US agreed to safe town, “telling the People, ‘we would like you to take it,’” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, stated within the 115-page report.

As an alternative, the US declined, opting to have Taliban fighters present safety within the metropolis – one thing former senior protection officers instructed McCaul’s workforce “would have allowed the US army to keep away from counting on the Taliban to safe the outer perimeter” of Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport, the middle of evacuation efforts.

Safety forces examine the aftermath of a bomb explosion that killed 3 exterior a bakery on Nawi Sarak Highway, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
MARCUS YAM/Los Angeles Occasions by way of Getty Pictures

“[That was] a job the Taliban proved incapable of performing, resulting in the ISIS-Okay assault that killed 13 US service members, injured 45 extra US servicemembers, and killed 160 Afghans,” the report stated, referring to the Aug. 26 suicide bombing simply exterior the airport.

Permitting the US and allies to safe Kabul may have prevented the bottlenecks and crowding of hopeful evacuees exterior the airport, McCaul contended, including that processing facilities may have been arrange removed from the airport gates and averted frequent closures brought on by teeming crowds.

That crowding in the end made the airport a super goal for the terrorist assault at its Abbey Gate, in keeping with the report.

“The chaos on the gates and the Taliban’s incapability to regulate the perimeter meant that US army personnel have been carefully packed collectively as they sought to display would be-evacuees, inserting them in a extra weak state of affairs that was exploited by the bomber, contributing to the excessive variety of casualties,” the report stated.

Even when the bombing couldn’t have been prevented, McCaul stated the variety of casualties may have been considerably lowered had the US not relied on the Taliban to supply safety exterior the airport’s perimeter.

“The dearth of planning by the Biden administration and their refusal to simply accept the Taliban’s provide to safe Kabul throughout the [mission] straight led to the bombing being so lethal,” McCaul stated within the report.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top of US Central Command, instructed Congress in September of final yr that he declined the Taliban’s provide to permit American troops to safe town as a result of he “didn’t have the assets to undertake that mission.”

Rep. Michael McCaul
Rep. Michael McCaul stated that permitting US and allies to safe Kabul may have prevented the crowding of evacuees, which in the end made the airport a super goal for an assault.
Invoice Clark/CQ-Roll Name by way of Getty Imag

“That was not why I used to be there; that was not my instruction,” McKenzie stated.

Whereas McKenzie instructed Fox Information on Sept. 4, 2021, that securing Kabul would have required about 15,000-20,000 extra US troops on the bottom, the report argued these figures “have been predicated on needing to struggle the Taliban for management of town.”

“That might probably not have been wanted given it was the Taliban management that had requested the US to safe town,” McCaul wrote.

Fewer American troops would have been wanted had the US requested its NATO allies to contribute to the hassle, in keeping with the report. Nevertheless, President Biden’s administration didn’t inform allies in regards to the provide, British officers instructed investigators “regardless of the UK having reportedly explored establishing a global stabilizing pressure for Kabul with out the US”

An unnamed senior protection official additionally instructed Republican members of the Home Overseas Affairs Committee that the army didn’t create plans for the US to take cost in Kabul as a result of they believed the White Home would have “prohibited [them] from contemplating such a proposal,” in keeping with the report.

That time was backed by constant statements by the administration each earlier than and after the evacuation ended on Aug. 30, 2021.

Relatives of a victim killed in the bombing attacks at the entrance to the Kabul Airport participate in the burial on the outskirts of Kabul.
Kinfolk of a sufferer killed within the bombing assaults on the entrance to the Kabul Airport take part within the burial on the outskirts of Kabul.
MARCUS YAM/Los Angeles Occasions by way of Getty Pictures
A plane takes off as Taliban fighters secure the outer perimeter, alongside the American controlled side of of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A airplane takes off as Taliban fighters safe the outer perimeter, alongside the American managed facet of of the Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
MARCUS YAM/Los Angeles Occasions by way of Getty Pictures

“Our goal has by no means been — and the president has been very clear about this — having a army presence to regulate Kabul,” then-White Home press secretary Jen Psaki instructed reporters on Aug. 31.

Regardless of the violence and chaos of the evacuation, Biden has repeatedly defended his choice to lean on the Taliban to safe Kabul.

“Requested if he thought it was a mistake to cede accountability for outer perimeter safety on the airport to the Taliban, President Biden [on Aug. 26] says: ‘No, I don’t,’ whereas persevering with to emphasize it’s within the Taliban’s ‘curiosity’ to cooperate on the evacuation’” McCaul wrote, “regardless of the US authorities understanding on the time that such cooperation was now not a actuality.”


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