(USA Features) The Biden administration was provided the opportunity to have U.S. military forces secure the Afghan capital of Kabul in the weeks prior to Thursday’s deadly attacks but chose to leave the responsibility to the Taliban instead.
According to a report in the Washington Post, top Taliban officials met with senior U.S. military commanders including the theater’s top general and offered the option of securing the city themselves as the Afghan government fell apart and fled while the country’s military disintegrated ahead of the Taliban fighters’ advances.
But rather than take the option, U.S. military commanders opted out and allowed the Taliban to take up security overwatch in the city because President Joe Biden refused to boost troop strength to carry out such a mission.
The Post reported that a security “void” took shape amid fleeing government and Afghan troops and that there were “reports of armed gangs moving through the streets.”
The paper noted that a “hastily arranged in-person meeting” took place between senior U.S. military and Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar, to discuss the situation.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) commander Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie also attended the meeting along with Abdul Ghani Baradar, the chief of the Taliban’s political wing.
“We have a problem,” Baradar reportedly said, per a U.S. official who spoke to the WaPo.
“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,” Baradar told McKenzie, according to the report.
The paper indicated that President Joe Biden “remained resolute in his decision” not to add more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and as such, the responsibility to secure the capital city then fell to the same force American and NATO troops had been fighting for 20 years.
The Post added that even though Afghanistan’s government had fallen apart, Biden was resolute in his decision and wouldn’t change his mind.
“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,” said the Post’s report.
“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,” the paper noted further.
As news of the Post’s report spread, several Republicans and other observers blasted Biden again over his decision, as well as the overall disastrous and now deadly pullout.
“@washingtonpost reports that Taliban offered to stay out of Kabul and let US forces secure the city. We told them we only needed the airport. We could have controlled the airport and Kabul and evacuated everyone but chose not to. The incompetence is stunning,” Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen tweeted.
@washingtonpost reports that Taliban offered to stay out of Kabul and let US forces secure the city. We told them we only needed the airport. We could have controlled the airport and Kabul and evacuated everyone but chose not to. The incompetence is stunning. pic.twitter.com/5MbW6K81n3
— Marc Thiessen (@marcthiessen) August 29, 2021
“If the reports are true, and the Biden administration willfully gave control of Kabul to the Taliban, they have yet again shown their complicity for a terrorist takeover,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., noted as well.
If the reports are true, and the Biden administration willfully gave control of Kabul to the Taliban, they have yet again shown their complicity for a terrorist takeover. https://t.co/qmrWSgJpmn
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 29, 2021
Syndicated with permission from USA Features News.