First we had Joe Biden doing a Chip Diller imitation yesterday afternoon. Today, John Kirby’s offering the Otter Defense for the administration’s catastrophic performance in Afghanistan. Small wonder this administration’s floundering, as Kirby did this morning on MSNBC.
Kirby tried telling Morning Joe that the administration game-planned out the final stages of withdrawal, but that “no plan is ever perfect.” You’d have to see evidence of a plan first to test that hypothesis, however:
Kirby insisted Tuesday that U.S. officials had “planned for almost every contingency” surrounding evacuations. “But as an old military maxim says, no plan survives first contact. So obviously, we had to adjust in the moment,” he said.
“It would have been difficult to predict for the level of mayhem and chaos that we saw there,” Kirby added. “We’re mindful of the images, the graphic nature of them. Certainly, nobody wanted to see it result like it did over the last 24 hours.”
While the military, northern side of the airfield “is back up and running again,” Kirby said U.S. officials would continue to better secure the civilian, southern side throughout Tuesday.
“No plan is ever perfect, and no plan can be perfectly predictive in terms of what friction, what unknown aspects and factors you’re going to deal with on the backside,” he said.
“We planned for a lot of contingencies,” Kirby insists, except apparently for the contingency of getting Americans and allies out of Kabul. Biden handed off Bagram air base on July 1, and until the collapse of Kabul never bothered to effectively secure the Hamid Karzai Airport — the only other air-egress option. Biden has had to order 6,000 more troops into Kabul on the fly to re-secure Karzai Airport, and still has no secure way to get Americans trapped in the area to that airport for flights out. In fact, the State Department e-mailed those Americans yesterday to shelter in place and wait for an e-mail invite that would include instructions to follow as to how to get to the airport — once they figured it out.
Either there was no plan at all, or the “tabletop” planning Kirby’s discussing here was based on fantasy versions of the outcome from Biden’s actions. That is, unless begging the Taliban for safe passage in Kabul was an integral part of the wargaming Kirby describes here.
If there had been a plan, the troops needed to secure the airport would have already been in place.
If there had been a plan, the State Department would have had people in transit to the airport in the week that the Taliban took to approach Kabul.
If there had been a plan, the US would have retaken control of Bagram and used it as an alternate platform for egress and exfiltration.
If there had been a plan, we would have heard from officials who could carefully lay it out in detail and show metrics on how it was performing.
Instead, the metrics are all over our TV screens, and all of them show that no one planned anything within the context of reality on the ground in Afghanistan.
“No plan is ever perfect” is certainly true … when it comes to contact with an enemy. That’s the part that Biden and all of his planners forgot when it came to strategizing for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Even Bluto could have done better than this incompetent group in the Biden White House. All they have to offer now is a “you f****d up, you trusted us,” and the knowledge that we have no other choice for the next three years for American leadership.
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