The disaster that took place in Afghanistan in 2021 no longer dominates the headlines, but the after-effects are still being felt. After the evacuation, which resulted in the murder of 13 American servicemembers and countless Afghans, the Biden administration is still trying to clean up the mess it created.
With women and children set to starve in incredible numbers because of the haphazard pull-out, the president is now moving to issue an executive order that will use frozen funds from the Afghan central bank for humanitarian relief.
BREAKING: President Biden is expected to issue an executive order to move some $7 billion of the Afghan central bank’s assets frozen in the U.S. banking system to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and compensate Sept. 11 victims, source tells @AP https://t.co/pSimEOz9vR
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 11, 2022
The problem with such an order is obvious. The Taliban is a terrorist organization masquerading as a legitimate government. Any money sent into the country is going to be misused and appropriated for nefarious activities. As to giving compensation to the 9/11 victims’ families, that feels like a rather convenient throw-in as Democrats face electoral doom in November.
Regardless, the question of how things got to this point remains important, and a recent report by the U.S. Army puts much of the blame on the decisions that emanated from the Biden administration during that fateful time. As expected, Joe Biden himself has already rejected its findings, but it includes a very interesting mention of Jill Biden.
Per the testimony of Navy Admiral Peter Vasely, who was running the operations center at Kabul’s airport during the evacuation, the First Lady and others were making special requests that ultimately ate up “bandwidth” and hampered the mission.
…”That’s accurate,” Vasley said when asked in sworn testimony for the report whether Pope Francis and First Lady Jill Biden intervened in evacuation efforts to request help on behalf of others.
“I was being contacted by representatives from the Holy See to assist the Italian military contingent … in getting through groups … of special interest to the Vatican,” he said. “That is just one of many examples.”
“I cannot stress enough how these high-profile requests ate up bandwidth and created competition for already stressed resources,” Vasley added.
What the exact request was from Jill Biden isn’t disclosed, but we can reasonably ascertain that it had something to do with prioritizing a certain person or group of people for evacuation.
In a vacuum, you could look at such a request as being made in good faith. No doubt, there were lots of people on the ground in Afghanistan that deserved to be evacuated. But that doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate for the First Lady, who holds no elected office and has no actual role to play in the government, to get involved in a military operation.
It was completely out of bounds for Jill Biden to put that kind of pressure on military leaders, who likely wanted to do their best to fulfill her request — given her husband is the president. That’s the danger in abusing relationships that include varying power dynamics. In this case, according to the report, the move by the First Lady led to negative real-world consequences, handicapping an already chaotic operation.
Imagine if this report were dealing with Melania Trump. How would the media react? I’d suggest this would be a full-blown scandal, no matter what the motivation behind the request was. Jill Biden is largely protected on that front, though. She is a Democrat, after all. Still, there’s something really unsettling about a First Lady who is so comfortable stepping outside the chain of command to make demands of those who do not answer to her.
The military had enough to worry about during that tumultuous time. Jill Biden interjecting her wants into the situation only caused unnecessary confusion and ate up valuable resources. That’s not my opinion. Rather, that’s the conclusion of the U.S. Army, and it should be taken seriously, not dismissed out of hand by the president.