WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A State Department report on Friday criticized the handling of the 2021 U.S. evacuation operation from Afghanistan, saying decisions by U.S. President Joe Biden and his predecessor to leave had “serious consequences for the viability” and security of the former U.S.-backed Kabul government.
Adverse findings in the report also reflected on Secretary of State Antony Blinken – without naming him – including a failure to expand the department’s crisis-management taskforce and the absence of a senior diplomat “to oversee all elements of the crisis response.”
The review contributed to a report released by the White House in April. But its critical findings were not reflected in the White House report that effectively blamed a lack of planning by former President Donald Trump’s administration for the chaotic August 2021 U.S. troop pullout and evacuation operation.
“I cant speak to that internal coordination piece and how the administration settled on the core conclusions that it presented” in April, a senior State Department official told reporters in a briefing.
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(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; editing by Diane Craft)
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