OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
A former key Defense Department official is calling out the Biden team for claiming that the Trump administration did not leave Joe Biden a plan for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
During an interview with Just The News, Kash Patel — the former chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller — hit back against claims from Secretary of State Antony Blinken for claiming that the Trump administration did not leave Biden a plan for the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Blinken testified before Congress that Trump left Biden a deadline for leaving Afghanistan without a plan.
Patel responded to that claim by saying: “No, absolutely not.”
Patel accused Blinken of playing “politics with the national security apparatus of the United States.”
“We actually did not leave them a deadline,” he said. “It was a negotiation between the U.S. government, the Taliban, and the Afghans. And if that date was not to work for this incoming administration, they could have moved it.”
“But what they chose to do was break the entire agreement. And then they thought since the adults were back in Washington, D.C., and Blinken and Biden were leading the charge, the world will just fall into place for them. And they blew it in Afghanistan. So I think their credibility’s shot when it comes to everything Afghanistan,” he added.
Patel said Trump’s overall plan was to “peacefully negotiate yourself out of Afghanistan with a conditions-based withdrawal. And the world knew that was President Trump’s plan.”
“And they knew that they couldn’t cross at least President Trump’s threat to rain down on them, should they harm a U.S. personnel or allied member,” Patel said. “And that was the difference, really, between our plan and their plan.”
When asked about what the Trump administration’s plans would have been, Patel said: “American citizens would be drawn out first, safely, and we would identify them through the process that is in place when you methodically do something with the military, the State Department, and the intelligence community.”
“There’s a difference when you evacuate versus proactively go get them,” Patel added.
The plan, he said, “was to make sure we got to every American before we left the military, before we left Bagram [Air Base], before we left equipment, and left a crisis like the Biden administration did.”
As for the plan for leaving Bagram Air Base, Patel said that it was “the very last thing we do in the country after Americans were out after our equipment was out and/or destroyed, after the thousands of detainees at Bagram were adjudicated” and airlifted out of the country.”
Patel rounded out his comments by arguing that the Biden administration “bucked” NATO allies at Bagram “when Biden said, ‘We’re up and leaving.'”