In his latest interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, President Joe Biden insisted that the US’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan was “unavoidable.” However, National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam argues otherwise, citing a newly obtained
allegedly showing that Biden’s State Department nixed a Trump-era initiative aimed at carrying out safe evacuations of overseas Americans. Sputnik cannot confirm the document’s veracity.
to Newsmax on Wednesday, Kassam said that Biden’s State Department “actively quashed a programme that was started under Trump’s presidency that was
meant to enable the US government to extract people swiftly and safely from crisis zones
around the world including places like Afghanistan.”
The programme, which was called the Contingency and Crisis Response (CCR), was started in October 2020 to encompass medical, diplomatic, and logistical support for overseas Americans.
The National Pulse understands that the Biden administration decided to suspend the initiative as early as in February 2021. Apparently, at that time the White House
started reviewing Trump’s initial agreement with the Taliban*
which was struck on 29 February 2020 in Doha and envisaged in particular the US pullout from Afghanistan by 1 May 2021.
On 16 February 2021, a day before a NATO meeting on the allied troops’ deployment in Afghanistan, the Taliban issued an open letter urging Washington to remain committed to the full implementation of the Doha agreement. The letter came on the heels of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s statement that the alliance would not withdraw from Afghanistan
before the “time is right.”
On 28 February 2021, the Biden administration appeared to draft a
for a political settlement in Afghanistan, which was
by The Washington Post in March. The document, in particular, downplayed the role of Islamic institutions under the new Afghan government, something that the Taliban vehemently opposed. Later, on 14 April 2021, Biden officially postponed the deadline of the completion of the US forces withdrawal from 1 May to 11 September 2011.
Following Biden’s announcement of the pullout’s delays the Taliban launched an all-out offensive on 1 May 2021. However, this didn’t prevent the State Department from officially closing the Contingency and Crisis Response (CCR) programme on 11 June 2021, according to the document released by The National Pulse.
“That you direct the discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR)… consistent with the applicable legal requirements, necessary stakeholder engagement, and any applicable changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual and other requirements,” stated the memo believed to be from Deputy Secretary of State Brian P. McKeon and dated 11 June 2021.
Speaking to The National Pulse, former President Donald Trump commented on the Biden administration’s decision to axe the CCR initiative: “Canceling this successful Trump administration program before the withdrawal that would have helped tens of thousands Americans reach home is beyond disgraceful,” he said.
“Our withdrawal was conditions-based and perfect, it would have been flawlessly executed and nobody would have even known we left,” argued the former president. “The Biden execution and withdrawal is perhaps the greatest embarrassment to our Country in History, both as a military and humanitarian operation.”
On 15 August, the US was forced to hastily evacuate its embassy staff as the Taliban entered Kabul, apparently catching the American military and diplomats by surprise.
The footage of the messy withdrawal
with hundreds of Afghans trying to get out of the country and clinging to an American aircraft’s landing gear (three eventually fell to their deaths) was circulated in the media and social networks. To makes things worse, some other videos allegedly show the Taliban grabbing
large stockpiles of Western-made modern weapons
, including rifles, drones, artillery, Hummers, and Black Hawk choppers.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries.