As Nick Arama wrote over the weekend at RedState, one interesting aspect of the disastrous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan over the last several weeks is the renewal of journalistic curiosity most corporate press put in hibernation when Joe Biden assumed the presidency.
Among one of the major players who have gotten back into the game, even if only partially, the Washington Post broke a story on August 28 that shows how the U.S. might have avoided the Afghanistan crisis if the Biden administration had made one better decision.
Top U.S. military leaders held an in-person meeting in Doha with Abdul Ghani Baradar, the chief political officer of the Taliban.
Baradar told the military personnel that the Taliban had a problem that gave the U.S. two choices. The U.S. would either have to take over the responsibility of securing the city of Kabul or leave that job to the Taliban.
The option of maintaining security in Kabul conflicted with Biden’s determined decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban takeover of the civilian government and the rapid defeat of the Afghan security forces did not affect Biden’s resolve to leave under any circumstances.
Military officials knew of Biden’s orders and told Baradar that the only mission for U.S. forces was to complete the ongoing evacuation. That meant that the airport was the only essential asset for the U.S. to hold during that remaining mission. The immediate result of that meeting was the agreement that the U.S. would leave the airport on or before August 31, and the Taliban would be given control of the remainder of Kabul.
The upshot is that the Taliban offered Biden control of Kabul. He turned that offer down and made the promise to leave by August 31 while at the same time making the impossible promise to America to get every American out of the country before leaving the airport.
Controlling Kabul would not have necessarily involved much more intervention than establishing a safe perimeter at the airport did. Without active Taliban interference, the U.S. could have provided safe passage for Americans and allies to the airport for evacuation while allowing local officials the space to conduct their affairs.
While no one should expect the Biden administration to volunteer information that damages its carefully scripted narrative, there may still be some hope that the corrupted media has a few actual journalists left on the job. The continuing fallout of the catastrophic end to the Afghanistan war may tell the tale.