From the Right



Biden and Blinken's Ineptitude Led to the Deaths of 13 U.S. Military Personnel

Austin Bay on

Biden announced his withdrawal on April 14. He craved the optics of exiting Afghanistan by 9/11's 20th anniversary. But Biden's presidential order failed to prod the State Department to act to meet his withdrawal deadline.

On Aug. 16, the Washington Examiner reported that the State Department had a SIV "processing backlog" for 18,000 Afghan allies and 53,000 Afghan dependents.

That "backlog" testifies to the life-threatening wages of the State Department's ingrained institutional defects. I'll list a few: paper shuffling, bureaucratic 9-to-5 inertia; lack of accountability; and focus on perception, not policy execution and results.

Noncombatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) is Pentagonese for "the departure of civilian noncombatants and nonessential military personnel from danger in an overseas country to a designated safe haven ... "

By doctrine, in a NEO the State Department is the lead government agency. The State Department identifies who should be evacuated, processes their paperwork and arranges for safe havens. The State Department constantly coordinates with the Pentagon, so the military is prepared to safely conduct the evacuation.


Biden and Blinken at best gave a nod to a haphazard planning process. Then they mismanaged the withdrawal's preparatory action phase and utterly botched its execution phase.

We confront our appalling moment: Biden and Blinken's leadership failures and the State Department's ineptitude have created a prolonged hostage situation. The failures and ineptitude also spurred the chaos that led to the deaths of 13 U.S. military personnel.


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