OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Joe Biden’s Aghanistan crisis is getting worse by the day.
A massive explosion took place just outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday where the United States, NATO forces, and allies continue to evacuate thousands of civilians from Afghanistan ahead of the hard August 31st deadline.
As this is going on, a new report reveals that White House staff members don’t have the freedom or courage to tell Biden and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan “they’re wrong” about the disaster in Afghanistan.
“People are simply too afraid to tell Biden (and) Jake Sullivan (his National Security Adviser), they’re wrong. It’s one thing to crack down on leaks (as Mr. Biden has done), it’s another thing to allow a mistake like this,” a former defense official, “who is in regular contact with senior White House aides,” told the Telegraph.
“This White House is very disciplined, especially when it comes to leaks and such. But the downside of discipline is if you’re running things like an autocracy, and you broker no dissent internally, that’s not what the purpose of a White House staff is,” the report added.
Another individual “close to the administration” told the Telegraph he asked Biden, “without success,” to reconsider and “to keep open Bagram Air Base, which has more runways than Hamid Karzai International Airport and has long been the beating heart of American operations in Afghanistan.”
The explosion on Thursday morning is another tragic reminder of just how bad the crisis is and has gotten.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed the explosion on Twitter, noting that there have been multiple U.S. casualties.
“We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties,” he wrote. “We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.”
We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021
Details of the explosion came amid warnings for evacuees to stay away from the airport in Kabul earlier on Thursday, following an increased threat from ISIS-K, the Daesh’s branch in Afghanistan.
Defense officials told lawmakers on Tuesday that a new threat was emerging in Afghanistan following the collapse of the Afghan government, which was supplanted by Taliban forces who took over most of the nation’s capital cities, including Kabul.
According to Axios, the State Department issued a warning on Wednesday night urging Americans not to travel to the airport and to leave immediately if they gathered near the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate.
Similar warnings were given by the U.K. and Australian governments, which are assisting in the evacuation effort.
James Heappey, the British armed forces minister, said on BBC that the threat of a suicide bombing attack by ISIS forces was “credible, imminent, and lethal.”
Prior to the attack, the White House stressed the possibility of an attack by ISIS-K and cited it as a primary factor in trying to complete the evacuation by the August 31st deadline.
The Biden administration and the State Department left open the possibility of leaving thousands of U.S. citizens and allies stranded behind in Kabul but did not elaborate when pressed on the matter by members of the media.
Axios reports that following the attack, Biden has been briefed on the matter, which occurred as he was scheduled to meet with the national security team on Afghanistan in the situation room.
Sewage canal where Afghans were vetted after their documents was packed with Afghans including women and children. A suicide attacker blew himself up in the middle of a large crowd. At least another attacker started shooting, multiple eye witnesses in the area&a friend tells me. pic.twitter.com/1MHuLOZnDl
— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) August 26, 2021
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) August 26, 2021
As of the time of this report, it is unclear how many casualties were injured or killed in the explosion, the details of which remain sketchy due to the decreased presence of journalists in Kabul.