Two decades after America’s invasion and ensuing disastrous occupation, US forces departed hastily in August 2021, as the Taliban soon reclaimed power.
The redacted 12-page assessment blamed weak intelligence and President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.
This is not the first time the United States has blamed its intelligence services for causing foreign policy disasters.
According to Phil Wilayto, publisher of The Virginia Defender quarterly newspaper, “When the United States has a foreign policy disaster, it tends to blame faulty intelligence.”
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, which Washington blamed on the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, the United States invaded Afghanistan in the same year.
Later in 2003, the U.S. also invaded Iraq on a pack of lies after presenting fake intelligence to the international community.
“There were no weapons of mass destruction, there was no link between the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda, there were no links between Saddam Hussein and the attacks on 9/11. These were just lies concocted to justify carrying out an invasion of Iraq, which (the U.S.) wanted to accomplish, in order to extend U.S. hegemony in West Asia,” Wilayto pointed out.
Presenting the declassified summary, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby admitted mistakes had been made on Afghanistan’s withdrawal.
“Clearly we didn’t get things right” on intelligence, Kirby claimed.
Wilayto noted the Pentagon was caught completely off guard, saying “the U.S. was obviously not anticipating the Taliban advancing on and taking over the capital city of Kabul so quickly. Period. Again, this was much less a failure of the U.S. intelligence, as it was an underestimation by the U.S. military of the determination of the Afghani forces to rid their country of the U.S. occupying presence.”
The White House report also tried to divert the blame of the U.S. establishment’s disastrous occupation of Afghanistan on President Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.
“The departing Trump administration had left the Biden administration with a date for withdrawal, but no plan for executing it. And after four years of neglect – and in some cases deliberate degradation – crucial systems, offices, and agency functions that would be necessary for a safe and orderly departure were in disrepair,” the document claimed.
It also claimed that Trump, in his final 11 months in office, had reduced the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, allegedly reaching some 2,500 military personnel by the time Biden took over in January 2021.
“As a result the Taliban were in the strongest military position that they had been in since 2001,” it added.
In a social media post, Trump responded by labeling the current White House as “morons” and said they were responsible for a “grossly incompetent SURRENDER in Afghanistan.”
“Biden is responsible, no one else!” Trump wrote.
The White House report acknowledged the long-term failure of the war, including the Taliban’s surprising resilience and the weakness of the U.S.-backed Afghan army.
“After more than 20 years, more than $2 trillion dollars, and standing up an Afghan army of 300,000 soldiers, the speed and ease with which the Taliban took control of Afghanistan suggests that there was no scenario except a permanent and significantly expanded U.S. military presence that would have changed the trajectory,” it said.
Kirby declined to answer questions over whether Biden has any regrets for his decisions and the measures he took leading up to the very embarrassing withdrawal.
On August 26, 2021 at the crowded perimeter of Kabul’s international airport and amid a very disorganized Pentagon operation to evacuate the country, a bomb attack killed 13 US troops and 170 Afghans, where the U.S.-led military was carrying out an airlift operation in just a matter of days.
The scenes were very reminiscent to that of the U.S. military fleeing Vietnam.
The international community as well as America’s Western and regional allies watched on as the tragic scenes showed Afghan civilians in a state of panic, mobbing fleeing airliners and even falling to their deaths as they attempted to cling onto departing planes.
Kirby claimed there was a list of intelligence failures, alleging that Washington did not predict “how fast the Taliban were moving across the country” or “the degree to which they were constructing these deals in the hinterlands that kind of fell like dominos.”
“We didn’t anticipate how fast the Afghan national security forces were going to fold,” he said. “I don’t think we fully appreciated the degree of corruption that was in the officer ranks in the military.”
This is despite a watchdog that was established by Congress, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), publishing quarterly reports on the failures of the U.S. occupation in the country.
One SIGAR report was more damaging and critical of the American occupation than the other.
Thanks to the watchdog, Congress and the U.S. establishment/deep state, including its intelligence apparatus, were fully aware of what was happening in Afghanistan, so there is no reason to blame “intelligence” for the disastrous and deadly policies Washington pursued in the country.
The CIGAR reports (nearly 70) were very detailed and clearly spelled out how the U.S. occupation was not proving any services to the Afghan population, allowing the Taliban to regain influence.
John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, regularly spoke of how significant amounts of dollars were being lost to “waste, fraud and abuse.”
In the years leading up to the collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban, the man appointed by Congress itself became more and more critical of the U.S. policies in the public eye. It is very sinister of the Biden White House to cite “intelligence” when so many reports were being published over so many years, documenting the fiasco of the American occupation.
The U.S. occupation led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians and the U.S. trained armed forces, which later collapsed.
In Iraq, the U.S. trained army also collapsed in the face of Daesh. One million Iraqis are estimated to have been killed as a result of the U.S. invasion and other forms of intervention in the country.
“Intelligence is a hard business,” Kirby claimed.
The reality is that US intelligence isn’t “a hard business” for a country that spends trillions of dollars on its military budget each year.
The United States has a grim history of utilizing so-called intelligence to spread its hegemonic authority, and this has cost it dearly.
As a result of Washington’s intelligence, millions of civilians have been injured around the world.
It was “US intelligence” that saw a major increase in the number of terrorist organizations throughout West Asia and abroad, despite Washington’s ostensible “war on terror.”
The terrorist groups created by the US have not only injured numerous individuals in West Asia, but have also hindered countries from stabilizing and utilizing the region’s vast natural resources.