State Department failed to plan well enough for Afghanistan withdrawal, report finds

Overall, the department found that the U.S. needs to better plan for “worst-case scenarios,” rebuild the department’s crisis management capabilities and “ensure that senior officials hear the broadest possible range of views including those that challenge operating assumptions or question the wisdom of key policy decisions.”

The report also found the department — and even the Taliban — underestimated how quickly the Afghan army and government would fall.

The U.S. became militarily involved in Afghanistan for 20 years following the Sept. 11 attacks and used its presence in the region to launch counterterrorism operations. Republican lawmakers have repeatedly called for investigations surrounding the chaotic departure, and some have stalled military nominations in protest.

Multiple people were killed during the U.S.-led airlift from Kabul International Airport, and more than 170 civilians and 13 American troops died in an ISIS suicide bombing attack during the evacuation.

Following Biden’s address about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down his student debt relief program, he defended the withdrawal by emphasizing that the U.S. got cooperation from the Taliban and prevented al-Qaeda from reemerging in Afghanistan.

Nahal Toosi and Lawrence Ukenye contributed to this report.