‘Correct Policy Choice’: State Department Defends Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal After Gold Star Families Speak Out

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State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller defended the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan during a press briefing on Wednesday, two days after Gold Star families of the 13 service members killed in the operation spoke out against its handling.

While he offered condolences to the Gold Star families, Miller said the Biden administration made the “correct policy choice” in withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2021. Miller also said that the State Department has been “incredibly transparent” about an after-action report that found Secretary of State Antony Blinken had no idea who was in charge of the withdrawal.

“I cannot begin to imagine the tragedies that [the Gold Star families] have suffered, and they will always be in our thoughts, and we will hold the deepest sympathy for them,” Miller said. “With respect to the decision-making that went into the withdrawal from Afghanistan, that’s something we’ve spoken to a number of times. … We believe it was the correct policy choice.”


Associated Press reporter Matt Lee then asked Miller about an ongoing investigation which has found that Blinken and the Biden administration had no clue who was in charge of the withdrawal, which lead to further chaos in an already tumultuous operation.

“I believe we’ve been incredibly transparent about the actions this department has taken,” Miller said. (RELATED: Biden Admin Refused To Cooperate With Investigators After Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal, IG Says)

The reporter then noted that people might take issue with characterizing the report as “incredibly transparent” given how long it took to be published.

“Understood,” Miller said, before quickly moving on the another reporter.

Biden said in June that he “was right” about the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan after being asked about the State Department’s after-action report.

“All the evidence – remember what I said about Afghanistan? I said we would get help from the Taliban,” Biden said. “What is happening now? What’s going on? Read your press. I was right.”

The State Department issued the following statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation:

“Recognizing the withdrawal from Kabul was an extraordinarily unique event, at the end of a 20-year war, the review recognized key areas where improved communications, resources, and preparedness could better inform our response in times of crisis. … The departure of President Ghani and the entry into Kabul of the Taliban necessitated a response of unprecedented scale and complexity, and the Department of State remains extraordinarily proud of its people on the ground, in Washington, and at sites both domestically and abroad to evacuate and assist 125,000 people, including 6,000 private U.S. citizens.”

This article has been updated with comment from the State Department.

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