The 17th of August saw both Jen Psaki and Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor coming forward with a press briefing. This briefing was to provide an update on the country’s movement with respect to Afghanistan. Sullivan opened the briefing by stating that the President had spoken with his military commanders about an operational briefing that would take place at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Further, he had a conversation with Secretary Austin, Chairman Milley, General McKenzie, as well as Admiral Vasely, and the National Security Advisor. Currently, the DOD personnel has been able to secure HKIA.
Jake Sullivan Explains President Biden’s Afghanistan Policy
Jake Sullivan continued, mentioning that after the operational briefing, the POTUS and the Vice President ended up meeting with the national security team to gather more intelligence, along with diplomatic updates about the evolving catastrophe in Afghanistan. They found themselves joined by Secretary Blinken, Chairman Milley, Secretary Austin, Director Haines, Director Burns, National Security Advisor Sullivan, Ambassador Wilson, General McKenzie, Ambassador Khalilzad, and a few other senior officials.
Jake Sullivan directly confronted the idea that the 2,500 forces which were recalled could easily have dealt with the situation. The Advisor stated that the previous administration had put in around 15,000 soldiers- and the Afghan government was barely holding on. It can be ascertained that Biden would have needed a far larger troop to truly deal with the issue. Notwithstanding the fact that American soldiers would be laying down their lives in Afghanistan again- something President Biden didn’t want on his conscience.
Jake Sullivan finally defended the actions of the government, stating that when a country was to conclude two decades of military action in a civil war in another country, several hard calls had to be made- however cruel they might sound.