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Net Assessment

Aug 20, 2021

Chris, Zack, and Melanie talk about the Biden administration’s disastrous military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Whose fault is this debacle? What is the manner of our exit doing to America’s credibility, with friends and adversaries alike, around the world? In a year, is anyone going to remember or care what has happened in the last several weeks? Have we learned any lessons from our two decades in Afghanistan, and will there be any accountability for bad decisions made along the way?

Zack pushes back on comments made by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan about the withdrawal, Chris calls out the administration’s unwillingness to accept more refugees, and Melanie is grateful for those taking the lead on helping to get refugees settled into new homes.


Gideon Rachman, “Joe Biden’s Credibility Has Been Shredded in Afghanistan,” Financial Times, August 13, 2021,

Fred Kagan, “Biden Could Have Stopped the Taliban. He Chose Not To,” New York Times, August 12, 2021,

Joe Biden, “Statement by President Joe Biden on Afghanistan, White House, August 14, 2021,

Greg Jaffe, “From Hubris to Humiliation: America’s Warrior Class Contends with the Abject Failure of Its Afghanistan Project,” Washington Post, August 14, 2021,

Susannah George, “Afghanistan’s Military Collapse: Illicit Deals with the Taliban and Mass Desertions,” Washington Post, August 15, 2021,

David E. Sanger and Helene Cooper, “Taliban Sweep in Afghanistan Follows Years of US Miscalculations,” New York Times, August 14, 2021,

“An incoherent strategy doomed the 20-year US mission in Afghanistan, watchdog says as US withdraws,” CNN Politics,

"Afghans have broken 'shackles of slavery', says Pak PM Imran Khan after Taliban seize power," Times of India, August 16, 2021,

"Last Days in Vietnam: Who Goes? And Who Gets Left Behind?,", April 28, 2015,