A Biden administration review has concluded that the State Department did not adequately plan before the fall of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan. The report blames both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden for their roles leading up to and following the August 2021 U.S. forces withdrawal from Kabul, which resulted in a chaotic evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies.
- The report reveals that the State Department failed to establish a broader task force as the situation in Afghanistan worsened and there was confusion over who had the lead for the evacuation of American civilians and Afghan allies.
- The review found that there was insufficient senior-level consideration of worst-case scenarios in both the Trump and Biden administrations, leading to severe consequences for the Afghan government and its security.
- As the Taliban rapidly seized key cities, State Department personnel were inundated with calls and messages pleading for assistance in rescuing individuals stranded in the country.
- In response to the missteps in Afghanistan, the State Department has adjusted its strategies for evacuating people in crisis situations, applying these lessons in Ukraine and Sudan.
- The State Department released parts of the report ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend, keeping most of it withheld from the public. The exact reason for this timing has not been clarified by officials.