US explores lessons and mistakes of Afghanistan evacuation
US agencies must insulate worst-case contingency planning and preparations from political concerns if they want to avoid situations like the sudden collapse of Afghanistan, according to the US Department of State.
The lead-up, collapse, and aftermath of the US military mission in the country has been highlighted by the US Department of State in a 90-day After Action Review on Afghanistan released this week.
The report examines the situation worsening from January 2020, the process of Kabul falling to the Taliban, and the end of a 20-year presence in the country culminating in the dramatic Kabul airlift emergency evacuation in August 2021. More than 125,000 people, including 6,000 private US citizens, were airlifted during the operation.
It further identifies preliminary weaknesses associated with the collapse and provides recommendations to respond to future complex international crises.
“The decisions of both President Trump and President Biden to end the US military mission posed significant challenges for the department as it sought to maintain a robust diplomatic and assistance presence in Kabul and provide continued support to the Afghan government and people,” the report said.
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