WH Spox Insists Biden Is 'Proud' of the 'Manner' in Which the Afghan Withdrawal Was Conducted


President Joe Biden has stated he does not have any regrets about his decision to withdrawal from Afghanistan.

But on Thursday, ABC News’ Mary Bruce asked White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, “You’ve made it clear the president did not have any regrets about his decision to withdraw … Does the president have any regrets about how this withdrawal was carried out?”

“The president is very proud of the manner in which the men and women of the military, the foreign service, the intelligence community … conducted this withdrawal,” Kirby responded.

He went on, “Look, I’ve been around operations my entire life and there’s not a single one that ever goes perfectly according to plan — things happen. Sometimes enemies get a vote.”

Finally, Kirby added, “The president is enormously proud of the men and women who conducted this withdrawal.”

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The exchange comes shortly after the White House released a report analyzing the 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan, which placed a significant amount of blame on former President Donald Trump’s administration.

A summary of the report states, “President Biden’s choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor.”

Do you think Biden should be proud of how the withdrawal was conducted?

It also insists the Trump Administration “provided no plans for how to conduct the final withdrawal or to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies.” And Biden “had committed to ending the war in Afghanistan, but when he came into office he was confronted with difficult realities left to him by the Trump Administration.”

It is true Trump made the agreement to withdraw from Afghanistan. And Biden says he chose to honor it. However, given that it was not an agreement ratified by Congress, he probably could have tried to renegotiate the deal.

The Associated Press notes, “Biden can go only so far in claiming the agreement boxed him in. It had an escape clause: The U.S. could have withdrawn from the accord if Afghan peace talks failed. They did, but Biden chose to stay in it, although he delayed the complete pullout from May to September.”

The decision to continue with the withdrawal came even as intelligence reports over the summer reportedly warned of the potential of a rapid collapse of Afghanistan.

Even with that extra time, we saw the incredible evaporation of Afghan security forces as the Taliban took over district after district culminating in the quick fall of Kabul with Afghaninstan’s president fleeing the country.

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We do not need to recap the whole story of thousands of U.S. citizens and allies and Afghan partners flocking to the Kabul airport desperately seeking to get out of the country, even going so far as trying to cling to jets as they took off. It was at the airport where a suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. service members and 169 Afghans.

The administration likes to tout the major airlift of more than 120,000 Afghans in just a matter of days.

From a logistical standpoint, sure, it was impressive how quickly the military was able to evacuate such a massive number of people from Afghanistan in a short period of time.

And it is understandable that Biden does not want to throw the military under the bus and call the withdrawal a disaster. But to talk about him being “proud” and act as though this rush to the exit was a great success is ridiculous.

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