National Security

Blame Game: Pentagon Blames Homeland Security, Who Blame The White House, Who Blame Afghan Forces

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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President Joe Biden has repeatedly stressed the incredible success of the U.S. military’s final withdrawal from Afghanistan.

But as a majority of Americans still believe that the withdrawal was not executed in the best way possible, Biden has also spent a fair amount of time pointing fingers at everyone but himself.

The day after the last American troops left Afghanistan, leaving the nation under the full control of the Taliban, Biden addressed the fact that in spite of his promises to the contrary, some 100-200 American citizens had been left behind.


Claiming that most of those who remained were dual citizens who had chosen to stay, Biden put the onus on them and said that his administration had warned them 19 times to get out.

Biden also blamed the Afghan Security Forces for failing to stand up to the Taliban — despite reports of a leaked phone call in which Afghanistan’s then-President Ashraf Ghani warned Biden that the Taliban was waging a full-scale invasion that could not be stopped without U.S. air support.

Biden, according to the report from Reuters, pressured Ghani to present the perception that his government could withstand the onslaught of the Taliban, “whether it is true or not.”

And finally, Biden reserved some blame for his predecessor — former President Donald Trump.

And others within his administration have begun to do the same.

“Frustrated and angry, officials at the Pentagon have privately blamed the lack of urgency leading up to the airlift on the State and Homeland Security departments, who in turn have blamed the White House for slow decision-making,” Reuters reported.

As soon as the last transport carrying American service members cleared Afghan airspace, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby appeared to be more than ready to turn any remaining rescue operations over to the State Department. (RELATED: Pentagon Spox Passes The Buck On Afghanistan, Says Americans ‘Get Stranded’ Overseas ‘All The Time’)


“We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time and we do everything we can to try to facilitate safe passage,” Kirby told “Morning Joe” host Willie Geist, adding that he did not “see a military role” in the rescue efforts moving forward.

But according to Atlantic Council think tank member Dan Fried, who previously served as a senior U.S. diplomat, “Finger-pointing is an ugly Washington sport … in this case, fingers could be pointed in all directions and probably be right in each case. A failure like this is collective. Everybody screwed up.”