The surprisingly swift collapse of the Afghan navy to Taliban forces final summer season, which shocked fight specialists, was largely as a result of withdrawal of America’s troops, a U.S. watchdog group mentioned.
In a report made public Tuesday, the Particular Inspector Basic for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, mentioned the withdrawal “destroyed” the morale of the Afghan forces and left them with out very important air help of their wrestle to maintain Afghanistan from falling to the Taliban, Reuters reported.
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The report highlighted that the withdrawal of U.S. troops was a situation of an settlement made and signed by the Trump administration in February 2020 and later carried out by the Biden administration.
“SIGAR discovered that the one most vital issue within the ANDSF’s (Afghan Nationwide Protection and Safety Forces) collapse in August 2021 was the U.S. resolution to withdraw navy forces and contractors from Afghanistan by means of signing the U.S.-Taliban settlement in February 2020 beneath the Trump administration, adopted by President Biden’s withdrawal announcement in April 2021,” the report mentioned.
The withdrawal settlement additionally restricted the usage of airstrikes by the fleeting U.S. forces.
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“Limiting airstrikes after the signing of the U.S.-Taliban settlement the next yr left the ANDSF with no key benefit in conserving the Taliban at bay,” John Sopko, the Particular Inspector Basic for Afghanistan Reconstruction, mentioned, in keeping with the report.
“Many Afghans thought the U.S.-Taliban settlement was an act of unhealthy religion and a sign that the U.S. was handing over Afghanistan to the enemy because it rushed to exit the nation,” Sopko added.
The Afghan authorities surrendered to the Taliban after simply over per week of preventing.
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On the time, President Biden defended the U.S. withdrawal, which introduced an finish to greater than 20 years of American troops preventing within the nation. The U.S. additionally reportedly spent over $80 billion within the conflict effort.
“Our navy commanders suggested me that when I made the choice to finish the conflict, we wanted to maneuver swiftly to conduct the primary components of the drawdown. And on this context, pace is security,” Biden mentioned in July 2021, forward of the August withdrawal.
Following Afghanistan’s give up to the Taliban, Biden once more defended his resolution.
“Another yr, or 5 extra years, of U.S. navy presence wouldn’t have made a distinction if the Afghan navy can not or won’t maintain its personal nation,” Biden mentioned in August 2021.
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Biden was broadly criticized over the withdrawal, and he deflected blame to President Trump.
“Once I got here to workplace, I inherited a deal reduce by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to debate at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban within the strongest place militarily since 2001 and imposed a Could 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. forces,” Biden mentioned throughout an Aug. 2021 speech. “Shortly earlier than he left workplace, he additionally drew U.S. forces all the way down to a naked minimal of two,500.”
“Due to this fact, after I grew to become President, I confronted a selection—comply with by means of on the deal, with a short extension to get our forces and our allies’ forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and ship extra American troops to struggle as soon as once more out of the country’s civil battle,” he mentioned.