Blinken cites 5 instances demonstrating how Afghanistan’s fall caught us off guard.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken admitted that his office was completely unprepared for the rapid fall of the Afghan government in August 2021, Politico reported.

This is stated in a statement by Blinken, made on Thursday during an event with the participation of representatives of the US State Department, which was organized after the publication of the White House report on the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Blinken said his ministry is working to provide Congress with its own assessment of these developments, but that assessment is not meant to be released, Politico said, which said it reviewed the meeting.

“This (a quick takeover by the Taliban in Afghanistan) was considered very unlikely, but obviously it would be a very serious event, and more could and should have been done to prepare for it,” Blinken said.

In his statements, Blinken spoke of “five lessons” his department learned from those events, the first of which was that the US State Department needed to plan faster and prepare for the “worst case scenario” in Afghanistan.

Second, according to Blinken, the state’s contingency plans were hampered by fears that such an open installation “might send the wrong signal to the Afghans and the government that we have lost confidence in it and will hasten what we hoped to avoid, which is its collapse.”

Other findings included a lack of a clear understanding of who led the evacuation, “conflicting and conflicting directives” from Washington regarding evacuation priorities, and a lack of clear tracking of the Americans in Afghanistan.

Blinken explained that one of the reasons he wanted to keep the report confidential was to avoid making “some of our weaknesses” public, because “this is information that would not be a good idea to publicize widely.”

Source: Politico

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