US State Department Assessment Contradicts Biden Admin's Claims on Afghanistan Collapse

US State Department Assessment Contradicts Biden Admin's Claims on Afghanistan Collapse

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A classified US State Department assessment conducted prior to the Taliban's takeover of Kabul in July 2021 challenges the assertions made by Biden administration officials regarding their expectations for the rapid crumbling of the Afghan government and security forces.

Representative Darrell Issa, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, highlighted the accuracy of the assessment's predictions during a media briefing. He stated, "What we saw was their prediction, with great accuracy, of exactly what was going to happen and what the outcome would be if they did not change their directions."

According to Sputnik Globe, the Biden administration, after a lengthy struggle, granted committee lawmakers access to the document for review.

“They redacted the specific names, but we now know that many of them were senior executive surrogates, meaning people that are paid at the highest level in the State Department. They knew and understood that there was no way that the Afghan military was going to defend successfully. They did not disagree with that, and as a result, they knew that Kabul would fall within weeks, that the Taliban would do what they have done, which is to continue to kill and persecute individuals, and they allowed it to happen,” the congressman added.

According to Issa, the document also indicated that the State Department appeared to have pretty much resigned itself to the fact that billions of dollars in US military hardware would be seized by the Taliban.

The lawmaker said he considers it “inappropriate” for the document - which has not been released to the public, to remain classified. “This is classified because it’s embarrassing. There’s absolutely no reason that the American people shouldn’t see it, and I will not rest until they do,” he said.

The battle over the so-called ‘dissent cable’ – an outlet for officials to express views which are contrary to official policy, was waged in Washington over the space of several months, with the House Foreign Affairs Committee threatening to hold Secretary of State Antony Blinken with contempt if he did not allow lawmakers investigating the Afghanistan withdrawal to view it. Blinken initially refused the request, but reneged last week, first agreeing to allow House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul and Democratic ranking member Gregory Meeks see the document, and then agreeing to let it be seen by all members of the committee.

The cable, signed by nearly two dozen State Department staffers and former Kabul Embassy diplomats, is said to provide crucial “first-hand information” regarding communications between the embassy and officials in Washington.

US and allied forces were forced to speed up their evacuation from Afghanistan in August 2021 as the Taliban blitzed through the country’s provincial capitals and arrived in Kabul on August 15. The US-backed Afghan government and security forces quickly crumbled, and former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country, allegedly with bags of millions of dollars in cash.

The chaotic exit left behind billions in US military hardware, and 183 people, including 13 US service members, were killed in a Daesh (ISIS-K) suicide attack in Kabul during the evacuation, which also saw hundreds of US citizens left behind.

US officials continued to assure Americans that the Kabul government would hold to the very last hours of its existence, with Pentagon spokesman John Kirby assuring reporters in Washington just two days before the capital was overrun that the city was “not right now in an imminent threat environment.”

The US-led war in and occupation of Afghanistan cost hundreds of thousands of lives, including up to 100,000 Afghan civilians, 92,000 Afghan security forces personnel and over 3,500 US and coalition troops, and cost the US over $2 trillion over twenty years, according to Brown University’s Costs of War Project.

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