Defiant White House: Withdrawal From Afghanistan Justified A Taliban fighter revels in Panjshir Province after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Aug. 15, 2021. (Alfred Yaghobzadeh/Sipa via AP Images)
By Jay Clemons | Monday, 15 August 2022 04:33 PM EDT
The White House took exception with a House Republican report criticizing the United States military withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, claiming the Biden administration's actions were justified at the time.
White House officials will soon circulate a memo on behalf of President Joe Biden, arguing his moves to leave Afghanistan ultimately strengthened national security and bolstered America's penchant for defusing terrorism threats abroad.
Also, the memo reportedly has the Biden administration blaming former President Donald Trump's previous agreement with the Taliban, saying that deal "weakened our partners in the Afghan government."
Finally, Biden officials dismissed the report findings — led by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee — as "partisan" and "riddled" with inaccuracies.
"When President Biden took office, he was faced with a choice: ramp up the war and put even more American troops at risk, or finally end the United States' longest war after two decades of American presidents sending U.S. troops to fight and die in Afghanistan and $2 trillion spent," White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson wrote in the memo, according to Axios.
The memo continued: "The President refused to send another generation of Americans to fight a war that should have ended long ago — and we fundamentally disagree with those who advocated for miring the United States' fighting men and women in an indefinite war with no exit strategy."
Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the Taliban initially taking control of Afghanistan. This intervention led to President Biden ordering the U.S. military to vacate.
At the time of the exodus, White House officials speculated that approximately 100 Americans remained in Afghanistan.
However, new estimates from over the weekend pin the number of U.S. citizens left behind in the 800-900 range.
Shortly before the full withdrawal, an explosion at the Kabul airport resulted in the deaths of 13 American soldiers in Afghanistan's capital city.
The Republican McCaul's report will likely be released this week.
Early previews suggest the report provides a detailed look at the chaos in Afghanistan last August, including the Biden administration's apparent inability to anticipate the problems that would occur in the country — especially after speculation began to mount of the Taliban seeking control of Kabul.
"There [was] a disconnect between the intelligence on the ground and what the White House is doing," McCaul said on CBS's "Face The Nation" Sunday morning.
In the McCaul report, Republicans also acknowledge their intention to subpoena officials and documents the State Department has apparently blocked involving the Afghanistan withdrawal — if the GOP seizes control of the House chamber after the November midterms.