Press Secretary Jen Psaki has been caught off guard more times than we can count, but at least her days of “circling back” are over. That still doesn’t mean she knows what she’s talking about and certainly doesn’t mean she can effectively answer a question.
President Joe Biden decided to move the withdrawal from Afghanistan date from September 11th, 2021, to August 31st, 2021. It seems that the Taliban made that decision for him when they told the United States that if all military weren’t out of the country on August 31st, 2021, then there would be consequences. Instead of bucking back on the Taliban, Biden agreed. This decision left hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan and even more Afghan allies.
Biden had already said in mid-August that U.S. troops were going to stay until all Americans were out, but that turned out to be a lie.
In the press conference, Psaki said that the military needed 120 days to wind down operations in Afghanistan, and they abided by the deadline. The reporter noted that the August 31st, 2021 deadline was new, and Biden said back in April that September 11th, 2021 would be the withdrawal date. So, somewhere between April and August, the date changed, probably because the Taliban changed the date. Psaki insisted that the military kept to their plan, but shouldn’t they have gone with a contingency plan if that’s the case? Too many revealed facts that would have told any rational person that changes needed to be made.
The Pentagon knew when and where the suicide bombings would happen that killed 13 military troops. Biden chose to let the Taliban control Kabul, Afghanistan, instead of having the U.S. control the city, Bagram prison was given to the Taliban where they let out thousands of criminals, and a drone strike killed more Afghan civilians, including an interpreter than terrorists, and the Taliban were given $85 billion in military equipment. Does that cover it?
Yes, there have been more, but that’s a basic overlay of the mistakes that have been made and could have been avoided in Afghanistan.
Psaki can’t make excuses for Biden’s administration because they dropped the ball. They created this situation and can’t get out of it. Psaki knows that all she can do is divert questions because if she answered them honestly, she would speed up that accountability process. She has to play her role and protect the administration and public perception, and public perception of the withdrawal from Afghanistan isn’t great.