Biden Thinks No One Made Mistakes During Afghanistan Withdrawal

President Joe Biden waits to speak at the Biden campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Del., Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Joe Biden has consistently defended his contentious withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, asserting that his administration did not err during the process, as revealed in a forthcoming book.

According to Politico’s national security reporter Alexander Ward in his upcoming book “The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore Foreign Policy After Trump,” Biden’s stance reflects his genuine belief that his team acted appropriately. “No one offered to resign [after the Afghanistan exit], in large part because the president didn’t believe anyone had made a mistake. Ending the war was always going to be messy,” Ward wrote, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Ward noted that Biden assured his top aides, including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, that he stood behind their decisions, even amid the challenges faced during the withdrawal. He added that a White House official informed him that there was no serious consideration of a staff shake-up.

Despite Biden’s confidence in the withdrawal, numerous issues arose as the United States ended its two-decade military presence in Afghanistan. These included the rapid Taliban takeover, a suicide bombing that claimed the lives of 13 American service members during the evacuation’s final stages, and the stranding of American citizens and Afghan allies in the country.

Additionally, the poorly coordinated evacuation resulted in the Taliban gaining access to significant military equipment, valued at nearly $7.2 billion, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

The dire situation in Afghanistan continued to deteriorate, with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk expressing concern in September 2023 about the collapse of human rights in the country, particularly affecting women and girls.