Sullivan Quashes Comparisons Of Afghanistan And Ukraine, Rejects ‘Miscalculation’ Claims

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National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan rejected any similarities between the current evacuation of the Ukrainian Embassy to that of Afghanistan last August, maintaining that the U.S. would not be deploying thousands of troops to evacuate Americans.

“Because the American people saw the United States deploy thousands of soldiers and then evacuate 124,000 people from Kabul last August, it’s totally possible that there are some Americans out there in Ukraine thinking the exact same thing will happen in Ukraine,” Sullivan stated to “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan. (RELATED: US Government Left As Many As 9,000 American Citizens In Afghanistan After Withdrawal, Senate Report Reveals)

“It is our obligation to indicate to them that that is not, in fact, the case. There is a big difference between ending a 20-year war in Afghanistan, and sending American forces in to fight Russian forces near the border in a war in Ukraine, which the president is not prepared to do. We are trying to dispel any notion that the United States is going to deploy thousands of forces to Ukraine to fight in order to evacuate Americans,” he said.


When asked whether the administration had learned lessons from Afghanistan, Sullivan deflected, focusing his response on a Washington Post report, which detailed “repeated instances of friction” between U.S. troops and diplomats before and during the evacuation of Afghanistan. The report concluded that Biden administration officials’ initial reluctance to shutter the embassy in Kabul “sowed chaos and put the overall mission at increased risk.”

“The President and I, sitting here today, do reject the reports in the Washington Post that the White House or the NSC sought to slow down the evacuation. The opposite is true,” Sullivan maintained, arguing that it was the White House who “pushed” military leaders and diplomats to begin the evacuation in Afghanistan. (RELATED: Biden Rejects Army Investigative Report Detailing Chaotic Afghanistan Withdrawal)

Brennan clarified that she was referring to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) version of an official army report.

When asked about the high risk of miscalculation of a potential war with Russia, Sullivan stated that the reason the Biden administration has been so “loud” in its warnings over Ukraine is “to avoid mistake, miscalculation or escalation and also to send a very clear message to Russia” that the U.S. would “defend every inch of NATO’s territory.”

“The United States is prepared. Our allies are prepared. And now it’s up to Russia to determine what the next step they will take,” Sullivan concluded.