The U.S. government has officially admitted that it should have started the evacuation of Americans and Afghans from Kabul earlier during the end of the war in Afghanistan in 2021. This acknowledgment was made public in a long-awaited summary of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August of the same year. The summary outlines the changes in policy that have been made to ensure that evacuations can be carried out more efficiently in foreign countries in the future, especially when security conditions deteriorate.
The decision to withdraw troops led to the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and military, which was followed by desperate attempts to evacuate people from Kabul’s international airport. Unfortunately, an Islamic State suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed over 170 civilians and 13 U.S. service members. This attack, coupled with the government’s delayed evacuation, has attracted widespread criticism from the American public.
Initially, President Biden defended his decision, calling it a success, and announcing the end of an era where America used military power to reshape other countries. However, less than 40 percent of Americans supported how he handled the withdrawal, and President Biden was compelled to call for a review of the pullout from the top down.
The review blames former President Donald J. Trump for hastily making a deal with the Taliban to withdraw American troops by spring 2021 without outlining a plan. Government officials acknowledged the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country and adopted a new stance of “aggressive communication” about risks, recognising the need to err on the side of caution.
In conclusion, the delayed evacuation from Kabul and the suicide bombing that ensued led to the loss of many lives, and the U.S. government has taken full responsibility for the delay. It has also recognised the need to be more proactive in future evacuations and adopt a more cautious approach.