Watchdog report dissects US withdrawal from Afghanistan
KARAH RUCKER: THE U.S. WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN IN MAY OF 2021 IS STILL BEING VETTED BY GOVERNMENT WATCHDOGS. BIDEN’S HANDLING OF THE WITHDRAWAL GAINED BIPARTISAN CRITICISM – SOME OF WHICH IS OUTLINED IN THE LATEST WATCHDOG REPORT EXAMINING WHAT WENT WRONG.
THE CONGRESSIONALLY MANDATED REPORT POINTED TO POOR ACCOUNTABILITY ON WEAPONS PROVIDED TO AFGHANISTAN – A LACK OF SYSTEMIC PLANNING – AND THE DEPENDENCY AFGHAN’S DEFENSE FORCES HAD ON U.S. TROOPS ON THE GROUND – LED TO THE MILITARY COLLAPSE IN KABUL. ACCORDING TO JOHN SOPKO – THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION.
THE REPORT SAID U.S. FORCES ABRUPTLY QUIT THE COUNTRY AND CUT OFF ASSISTANCE TO AFGHAN ALLIES.
JOHN SOPKO | INSPECTOR GENERAL: “The character of the withdrawal left many Afghans with the impression that the U.S. was simply handing Afghanistan over to a Taliban government-in-waiting.”
BUT THAT PRESIDENT BIDEN MADE AN EVEN MORE ABRUPT EXIT THAN ANTICIPATED BY AFGHAN ALLIES – ACCORDING TO THE REPORT.
THE WATCHDOG ALSO CALLED OUT THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR A LACK OF COOPERATION IN THEIR INVESTIGATION.
THE REPORT INDICATED THE D-O-D DELAYED ANSWERING OFFICIAL INQUIRIES, MISSED DEADLINES AND PROVIDED INCOMPLETE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS. THE DOD DISPUTED THOSE CLAIMS.
THE REPORT ALSO INDICATED THE U.S. LEFT BEHIND 7 BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT THAT HAS ENDED UP IN THE HANDS OF THE TALIBAN.
THIS WATCHDOG IS WARNING U.S. OFFICIALS “TO AVOID THE SAME MISTAKES” IN THE WAR IN UKRAINE.
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL INCLUDED IN THIS AFGHANISTAN REPORT A NEED FOR MORE OVERSIGHT IN THE U.S. EQUIPMENT AND AID BEING SENT TO UKRAINE. FROM JANUARY OF LAST YEAR TO JANUARY OF THIS YEAR – THE U.S. HAS EARMARKED 77 BILLION DOLLARS IN SPENDING FOR UKRAINE.
GOVERNMENT WATCHDOGS RESPONSIBLE FOR AID TO UKRAINE RECENTLY SAID THEY WOULD LIKE AUDITORS ON THE GROUND.
JOHN SOPKO | INSPECTOR GENERAL: “There is an understandable desire amid a crisis to focus on getting money out the door and to worry about oversight later. Given the unprecedented volume of weapons being transferred to Ukraine, the risk that some equipment ends up on the black market is likely unavoidable.”
U.S. Air Force