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On Thursday, President Joe Biden said he “rejects” the contents of a new Army report in which military officials criticized his administration’s action for failing to understand the magnitude of the Taliban offensive when the United States withdrew its troops from Afghanistan.
In an interview with Lester Holt for NBC, President Biden was asked his opinion of the aforementioned report, which was published this week by the Washington Post (The Post,) and said he disagreed with its contents.
“No, that’s not that I was told,” Biden said of the report’s contents before questioning and rejecting the Army’s opinion. “There was no good time to get out, but if we had not gotten out, they acknowledged we would have had to put a hell of a lot more troops back in.”
In his view, a hasty withdrawal in the midst of a Taliban offensive was “the wiser thing to do” given that there was “no way” to “unite Afghanistan.”
When Holt asked for the president’s opinion on the Army report, which according to The Post comprises more than 2,000 pages of sworn testimony from commanders involved in the withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, Biden responded flatly, “I’m rejecting them.”
The contents of the report Biden rejects
The report indicates that White House and State Department officials reacted too late to the Taliban’s final offensive, since they did not understand the significance of their enemies’ advance toward Kabul.
The report claims that the Biden administration resisted efforts by military commanders to prepare for an early evacuation of embassy personnel and Afghan allies in the weeks leading up to the fall of the capital, further endangering American troops.
In addition, the document reveals instances of violence against American forces that had not previously been reported to the public by authorities, including a firefight between Marines and Taliban in which two militants of the terrorist group were killed.
It is also mentioned that U.S. troops killed one member of the elite Afghan unit and wounded 5 others after falling victim to an unexpected attack.
The investigation from which the report is based on began after 13 American service members and more than 180 Afghan civilians were violently killed in an ISIS-K suicide bomb attack on Aug. 26 outside Hamid Karzai International Airport.