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Afghanistan Is a Brutal Reminder That Accountability Doesn’t Exist in Our Government

Jim Watson/Pool via AP

One year ago, President Joe Biden fully displayed his incompetence when the United States finally pulled its troops out of Afghanistan, ending the war which lasted nearly 20 years. While Americans overwhelmingly agreed with the move, they were soon horrified by the botched pullout and the deaths of 13 soldiers amid the return of the Taliban.

The withdrawal was one of the most egregious mishaps that have occurred in recent American history. The situation resulted in a dramatic drop in the president’s approval ratings, and they have not recovered since. But there is one important issue that this situation has illustrated: People at high levels in the federal government never have to fear accountability for their ineptitude.

The Daily Caller News Foundation recently reported that the number of Americans who wished to be evacuated from the region was far higher than the administration suggested originally. From the report:

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Aug. 30 2021, just as the last U.S. aircraft departed the Kabul airport, that the State Department had identified roughly 100 Americans living in Afghanistan who wished to leave. However, a GOP House Foreign Affairs Committee report to be released Monday shows that out of an unknown number of civilians left stranded in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, the U.S. helped hundreds leave, Politico reported, suggesting the Biden administration either underestimated those who would attempt to evacuate or deliberately obscured the actual numbers.

But in reality, the number was far higher than what Blinken indicated this time last year. A State Department spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation that after the August 30 deadline, the government had “directly supported” the evacuation of 803 Americans. He said these “individuals in Afghanistan periodically identified themselves as U.S. citizens wanting to depart the country.”

The official indicated the full number might be closer to 1,000 when you factor in the efforts of private organizations. Some of these groups who traveled to the region to extricate citizens clashed with the State Department, which blocked them from transporting these individuals out of the country. Even after the deadline to leave the country, the White House still left many Americans stranded – a fact that the activist media wasn’t too keen on mentioning.

The president attempted to engage in a bit of damage control related to the rapid resurgence of the Taliban, which was allowed to sweep the nation to return to its former glory. During a July 2021 phone conversation between Biden and then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, he appeared to be more concerned with the optics of the situation than the perilous reality on the ground.

“Hey look,” Biden said, “… as you know and I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban.  And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

Ghani responded by bringing Biden back down from his ice cream-induced sugar high. He said:

“Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists – predominantly Pakistanis – thrown into this, so that dimension needs to be taken account of.”

Only weeks later, the Taliban drove Ghani out of the country. It was the very last time he conversed with Biden. I’d be mad too.

But the bottom line is that this situation was mishandled from start to finish. Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter laid it out perfectly:

At the battalion level, the Marines performed flawlessly in the situation and with the resources they were given. But they should never have been there in an unprotected location that could have had the proper infrastructure built months before in order to keep hundreds of unvetted Afghans from being right up next to a bunch of our people. That’s a senior leader issue – the senior leaders failed them and a terrorist with hundreds of metal chunks in his bomb got right up by our guys and blew them to pieces.

So, 13 dead soldiers, hundreds of Americans trapped in Afghanistan for months, and the resurrection of the Taliban – and absolutely nobody has been held accountable. Nobody has been fired. Not even so much as a slap on the wrist. In fact, Reuters reported:

As weary U.S. military planners wrapped up the evacuation and pullout from Afghanistan one year ago, officials across the government steeled themselves for intense public scrutiny into how America’s longest war ended in shambles with the Taliban retaking power.

But as the United States marks the first anniversary of the withdrawal this month, some U.S. officials and experts say President Joe Biden’s administration has moved on without properly assessing lessons from the 20-year war and the Taliban victory.

Precisely. America will not learn its lesson from this disaster – especially since the Biden administration refers to the Afghanistan withdrawal as an “extraordinary success” primarily because it knows that the activist media is never going to truly take them to task. Unfortunately, this could mean that sometime in the future, we will be doomed to repeat this history.