Feb 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden rejects Army report on failure to prepare for Afghanistan's fall

President Biden said Thursday in an interview with NBC News that he rejects the results of an Army investigation that reportedly outlines his administration's failure to adequately prepare for and respond to the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan.

Why it matters: The investigation, which was first reported by the Washington Post and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, found that U.S. military leaders' attempts to plan evacuations of embassy personnel and Afghan allies were met with resistance in the White House and State Department.

What he's saying: In a clip of his exclusive sitdown interview with Lester Holt, Biden replied in the negative when asked if his administration was in denial about the situation leading up to the fall of Afghanistan.

  • Pressed on the military officials' accounts in the Army report, Biden said, "I'm rejecting them."
  • "Look, there is no good time to get out, but if we had not gotten out, they acknowledged we would have had to put a hell of a lot more troops back in," Biden added.
  • "We would have to significantly increase the number of troops and we're back in this war of attrition," he said. "And so this is a much wiser thing to do."
  • The full interview is set to air on Sunday.

Worth noting: Senior Biden administration officials were still discussing and assigning basic actions involved in civilian evacuation the day before Kabul fell, according to leaked notes from a White House Situation Room meeting.

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