WATCH: John Kirby says Biden 'very proud' of botched Afghanistan withdrawal

"Nobody's saying that everything was perfect. But there was a lot that went right," Kirby said.

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Thursday, National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby said that Joe Biden was "very proud" of his botched withdrawal of the American military from Afghanistan in August of 2021 that saw 13 marines killed, billions of dollars of military equipment left behind, and thousands of Americans abandoned in the Taliban controlled country.

In a press conference, Kirby was asked about a newly released White House review of Biden's withdrawal and was asked, "I understand you've made clear the President does not have any regrets about his decision to withdraw, but in hindsight in reading this, does the President have any regrets about how this withdrawal was carried out?"

Kirby answered, "The President is very proud of the manner in which the men and women of the military, the Foreign Service intelligence community, went on and on and on and conducted this withdrawal."

"I've been around operations my entire life, and there's not a single one that ever goes perfectly according to plan. Things happen," he added.

Fox News reports that the document "repeatedly criticizes the Trump administration for constraining the conditions of American withdrawal," something Biden had done going back to August 16, 2021, when he blamed Trump and cited an agreement the former president made. At the time, Biden said, "I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces. That's why we're still there. We were clear-eyed about the risks, we planned for every contingency."

In April 2021, Biden announced his withdrawal plans and said troops would start leaving on May 1. By July, the US military abandoned Bagram Air Base and left behind 7 billion dollars worth of military equipment and assets, including many night vision goggles. The US withdrawal happened at the peak of the Afghanistan fighting season and gave the Taliban plenty of time to descend from remote areas of the country and take over population centers. On August 15, the Taliban entered Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, then-Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani immediately fled for Tajikistan, and the region descended into chaos. President Biden was vacationing at Camp David at the time.

On August 26, 2021, 13 Marines were killed by an ISIS-K suicide bomber outside of the Hamid Karzai International Airport and more than 60 others were injured. 

In speaking to the families of the dead 13 Marines, Biden invoked his son Beau Biden, who did not die in combat but of cancer. Mark Schmitz, father of deceased, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, said of the meeting, "It didn't go well. He talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son, and that didn't sit well with me."

In 2021, Republicans on the Foreign Affairs Committee released a report condemning Biden for the withdrawal. A February 2022 report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee found that as many as 9,000 Americans were left in the country and over 300 dogs and cats were abandoned. 

In January, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Representative Michael McCaul from Texas, launched a probe into Biden's botched withdrawal and said, "We owe this to the American people, especially our service members and veterans."

Later in Thursday's press conference, Kirby doubled down when Fox News' Peter Doocy asked if anyone was going to be fired over the withdrawal. Kirby said the document was not about "accountability."

"Nobody's saying that everything was perfect. But there was a lot that went right," Kirby said.


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