Not An Intelligence Failure

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August 15, 2021 1:53 p.m.

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) has a statement out that is at least semi-critical of the Biden administration’s handling of Afghanistan. I’ll print the whole thing below. But it’s this statement that caught my eye: “We also need to determine what intelligence failures led to underestimating the ease and speed of the Taliban’s advancement and work to ensure that we prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for terrorists.”

There are after-action reports for everything the US government does. But this sentiment is exactly wrong. There’s no intelligence failure. We don’t need to pretend there is. Every actual report going back many years portrayed the Afghan army is thoroughly compromised by corruption and beset by chronically bad morale. Desertion was commonplace. This isn’t a surprise and we should’t pretend it is.

STATEMENT: Senator Hassan on the Situation in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) released the following statement on the situation in Afghanistan:

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“In the last 48 hours, we have seen chaos descend as the Taliban enters Kabul. The Afghan government is collapsing and I have read with horror the reports of the execution of our Afghan allies and partners and I pray for all the Afghan people – especially the young women and girls – whose lives are in danger.

“The situation in Afghanistan is the result of failures by multiple administrations. I have long said that any withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan must be based on facts on the ground, not arbitrary deadlines. Instead we have seen a precipitous withdrawal with no real plan in place to ensure the peace and stability of Afghanistan and its people.

“The Biden administration must ensure that we have a plan in place for protecting Americans in Afghanistan and those who served alongside us for the past 20 years, as well as the safety of Afghan women and girls.

“We also need to determine what intelligence failures led to underestimating the ease and speed of the Taliban’s advancement and work to ensure that we prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for terrorists.”

In 2019, Senator Hassan visited Afghanistan as part of a congressional delegation to discuss the future of Afghanistan and counterterrorism efforts. During her visit, the Senator met with Afghan women to discuss education and their hopes for the future of the country and for their children.

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