President Joe Biden meets virtually with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and governors and mayors from states and cities impacted by Hurricane Ida in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Monday. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
By Elizabeth Stauffer August 30, 2021 at 3:13pm
On Saturday, The Washington Post published a detailed account of events that occurred on Aug. 15, the day the city of Kabul fell to the Taliban.
Six writers collaborated on the article, which they inform readers is the result of “nearly two dozen interviews with U.S. and Afghan officials, a Taliban commander and residents of the city.” Most of these sources wished to remain anonymous.
Buried deep down in the lengthy piece came this startling revelation: “In a hastily arranged in-person meeting, senior U.S. military leaders in Doha — including [Gen. Kenneth] McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command — spoke with Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban’s political wing.”
According to the U.S. official, Baradar said, “We have a problem. We have two options to deal with it: You [the United States military] take responsibility for securing Kabul or you have to allow us to do it.”
“Throughout the day, Biden had remained resolute in his decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan. The collapse of the Afghan government hadn’t changed his mind,” the Post reported.
“McKenzie, aware of those orders, told Baradar that the U.S. mission was only to evacuate American citizens, Afghan allies and others at risk. The United States, he told Baradar, needed the airport to do that.
“On the spot, an understanding was reached, according to two other U.S. officials: The United States could have the airport until Aug. 31. But the Taliban would control the city.”
So, according to three U.S. officials, the Taliban offered U.S. military leaders the chance to secure the Kabul airport as they evacuated Americans and Afghan allies, and they declined. This is remarkable.
Although the Post did not report that President Joe Biden made this decision, I can’t imagine that McKenzie would have signed off on something so monumental without the authorization of the commander in chief.
Do you think the Biden administration should have accepted the Taliban’s offer to control the airport during the evacuation?
Given the opportunity to bring in the additional troops that would be necessary to control the city during the evacuation period, the Biden administration chose to rely upon terrorists to provide protection.
The gravity of this miscalculation cannot be overstated.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, fearing a grisly execution at the hands of the Taliban, had already fled the presidential palace, and lawlessness was spreading throughout the city when this fateful meeting took place. The unthinkable had happened. The U.S.-backed Afghan government, which the Biden administration had expected to hold on for at least six months, had surrendered to the terrorists without a single shot being fired.
Afghanistan was engulfed in crisis, and thousands of American lives were in danger — and an even larger number of Afghan lives.
Still, the arrogant, stubborn and senile U.S. president chose the easier, softer way — the path of least resistance.
When historians look back on pivotal events, they identify crucial decisions made at key moments that changed everything. This will be one of those.
The Biden administration’s previous blunders, such as withdrawing troops before evacuating U.S. and Afghan citizens and abandoning Bagram Airfield, had brought us to this point. The administration was fully aware the evacuation was going to be dangerous and messy, yet it foolishly turned down the chance to take control of the city.
Thirteen U.S. service members lost their lives Thursday after the Taliban allowed an ISIS-K suicide bomber through a checkpoint outside the airport, something that likely wouldn’t have happened if U.S. troops had controlled the city.
Retired U.S. Army General Don Bolduc joined Fox News’ Steve Hilton on his Sunday night show, “The Next Revolution.”
Hilton asked Bolduc to weigh in on this story. Bolduc said, “It’s complete and utter incompetence. … What a difference it would have made for us to have Kabul. They wouldn’t have been able to get close to the airfield. We wouldn’t have had this explosion. We wouldn’t have had these 13 deaths. We wouldn’t have Kabul, a city that was thriving, now is an utter cesspool.”
“If that was offered and the decision was not to accept that, then that is not only incompetence, but it’s absolute bad military judgment.”