Following the tumultuous Afghanistan withdrawal, President Joe Biden’s attempts to shift accountability away from his administration by citing the Doha Agreement, a deal negotiated by former President Donald Trump with the Taliban, have raised concerns within conservative circles. A recent report suggests that the Taliban systematically violated the terms of the Doha Agreement, essentially rendering it null and void. This revelation contradicts the assertions made by General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who testified before the U.S. Senate that the Taliban refrained from attacking U.S. forces between the signing of the Doha Agreement and the evacuation of Kabul.
Milley and Austin maintained that while the Taliban breached almost all provisions of the Doha Agreement, they did uphold a critical one – refraining from attacking U.S. or coalition forces. However, a newly published book, ‘Kabul: The Untold Story of Biden’s Fiasco and the American Warriors Who Fought to the End,’ authored by Jerry Dunleavy and James Hasson, challenges this narrative. Released on the second anniversary of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, the book draws on various sources, including Pentagon watchdog reports and statements from Biden administration officials, to demonstrate that the Taliban did indeed launch attacks on U.S. forces during the period in question.
Dunleavy and Hasson point to reports of the Taliban’s limited attacks on coalition bases, such as the rocket fire directed at U.S. troops stationed at Khost and Kandahar air bases. The Pentagon’s own after-action Abbey Gate Report, specifically exhibit 174, reveals that the Taliban conducted an indirect fire attack on Bagram Airforce Base. These revelations challenge the testimony of Milley and Austin, suggesting that their understanding of the Taliban’s actions was inconsistent with available evidence.
Notably, the Biden administration’s public statements further undermine Milley and Austin’s testimony. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged “small, harassing attacks” during a press briefing, a statement that contradicts the narrative presented by the defense officials. From a conservative perspective, these inconsistencies raise concerns about transparency, accurate reporting, and the decision-making process leading up to the Afghanistan withdrawal. Critics argue that a more accurate assessment of the situation would have facilitated better planning and a more effective response, potentially averting the chaotic scenes witnessed during the withdrawal.