HASC chair says plans to evacuate citizens from Afghanistan were 'wholly inadequate'

HASC chair says plans to evacuate citizens from Afghanistan were 'wholly inadequate'

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithFacebook's the latest example that we must rewrite laws on corporate harm Overnight Defense & National Security — US attempts to mend ties with France Pentagon requires COVID-19 vaccines for civilian employees by Nov. 22 MORE (D-Wash.) said in a statement Friday that plans to evacuate citizens from Afghanistan were “wholly inadequate.”

The mistakes made in the execution of the withdrawal are also clear to me: The plan to evacuate civilians was wholly inadequate,” Smith said.

“In the coming months, we need to examine why it has happened this way and make sure it never happens again. We must also scrutinize the intelligence behind this operation to understand whether it provided any clarity regarding how swiftly the Taliban would move in and what our response should have looked like,” he added.

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President BidenJoe BidenPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks State school board leaves national association saying they called parents domestic terrorists Sunday shows preview: Supply chain crisis threaten holiday sales; uncertainty over whether US can sustain nationwide downward trend in COVID-19 cases MORE has faced criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for how the withdrawal in Afghanistan occurred, leading to a swift takeover by the Taliban and thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies trapped in the country.

Evacuation efforts have been difficult as the Taliban has set up a perimeter around the only airport that can get people out of the country.

The Taliban has been reported beating some U.S. citizens and Afghan allies who try to get to the airport. 

Biden has defended his actions, saying there was no way for the withdrawal to go smoothly.

Smith did defend Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from the region, agreeing with the president the move wouldn’t be easy.

“This withdrawal was never going to be easy, nor was it going to be clean. It was clear to me that the Taliban would likely take over upon our departure and that the cost of trying to prevent the Taliban’s takeover was simply too high,” Smith wrote. 

“Our immediate focus must be the safe evacuation of all U.S. personnel from Afghanistan, and as many Afghan nationals as possible," he added. "We must do everything in our power to help those Afghans who supported the U.S. military, as well as their families, and other Afghan nationals who may be in danger because of their work on humanitarian or human rights issues."