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Opinion Ex-Obama adviser: Why Biden must fire his national security adviser for Afghanistan failure

08:15  20 september  2021
08:15  20 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

'A heavy price': Two decades of war, wariness and the post-9/11 security state

  'A heavy price': Two decades of war, wariness and the post-9/11 security state Now 20 years old, and with a fourth president at the helm, the U.S. war on terrorism has changed dramatically in important ways."The decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan," he said Aug. 31, hours after the last U.S. troops boarded a flight out of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. "It's about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.

President Biden needs to fire his national security adviser and several other senior leaders who oversaw the botched execution of our withdrawal from Afghanistan . He has to restructure how and with whom he is making major foreign policy decisions, allowing for more input from career experts. There should be absolutely no more donors appointed to represent us abroad. The stakes are just too high. Finally, there is an urgency to repairing the extensive damage done to our reputation and credibility on the world stage. That’s going to require the president spending a lot more time than he has focused

An Obama administration adviser called on President Joe Biden to "shake up his national security team" after the Taliban quickly seized control of Afghanistan as the U.S. withdrew its troops. Brett Bruen, who was director of global engagement in the Obama White House, penned a scathing Bruen feels people chosen by Biden "have repeatedly failed to challenge their own assumptions" which has "sadly led to the most unnecessarily embarrassing day in the history of the National Security Council." Armed Taliban fighters swept into Afghanistan ’s capital of Kabul on Sunday as the Afghani president

President Joe Biden needs to shake up his national security team.

The disaster that unfolded in Afghanistan is illustrative of other major issues at the White House. The people, plans and processes the president has put in place to keep America safe are not working.

Those he has chosen for key positions have repeatedly failed to challenge their own assumptions. It sadly led to the most unnecessarily embarrassing day in the history of the National Security Council.

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The national security adviser has two jobs. As the name suggests, they are the last and ideally closest counselor to the president in the Situation Room.

Overnight Defense: US scrambles to get Americans out of Kabul

  Overnight Defense: US scrambles to get Americans out of Kabul It's Tuesday, welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Ellen Mitchell, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.THE TOPLINE: The Biden administration for a second day in a row on Tuesday sought to swat away criticism of its botched withdrawal from Afghanistan as the U.S. military worked to ramp up evacuation flights out of Kabul.After a chaoticTHE TOPLINE: The Biden administration for a second day in a row on Tuesday sought to swat away criticism of its botched withdrawal from Afghanistan as the U.S. military worked to ramp up evacuation flights out of Kabul.

The national security adviser has two jobs. As the name suggests, they are the last and ideally closest counselor to the president in the Situation Room. Their second duty is to translate the commander in chief’s decisions and direction into practical policies. President Biden needs to fire his national security adviser and several other senior leaders who oversaw the botched execution of our withdrawal from Afghanistan . He has to restructure how and with whom he is making major foreign policy decisions, allowing for more input from career experts.

Ex - Obama adviser : Why Biden must fire his national security adviser for Afghanistan failure (@brettbruen / USA Today) https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/08/16/ afghanistan -disaster- why - bidens -foreign-policy-team- failed -america/8145997002/?scrolla=5eb6d68b7fedc32c19ef33b4 … http://www.memeorandum.com/210816/p79#.

Their second duty is to translate the commander in chief’s decisions and direction into practical policies. Sometimes that requires speaking truth to power. On all of these scores, the current occupant of the office appears to have failed.

I served with Jake Sullivan in the Obama administration. He is extraordinarily bright and because of that, advanced at record speed as a staffer to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and later Vice President Joe Biden.

While he knows all the theories and academic arguments in foreign policy, his overseas experience is less robust. It can lead to the disconnect between ideas and implementation.

Yes, Biden wanted out of Afghanistan. It was on Sullivan to figure out how to achieve the president’s goal while ensuring we avoided potential pitfalls and problems. That’s clearly not what happened.

France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over submarine deal

  France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over submarine deal The diplomatic row came over a broken contract by Australia to buy French submarines in the wake of a new security pact by Australia, the US and the UK.Philippe Étienne, France's ambassador to the United States, and his counterpart in Australia were recalled to Paris "for consultations" at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's minister for Europe and foreign affairs.

The national security adviser has two jobs. As the name suggests, they are the last and ideally closest counselor to the president in the Situation Room. Their second duty is to translate the commander in chief’s decisions and direction into practical policies. Sometimes that requires speaking truth to power. On all of these scores the current occupant of the office appears to have failed . I served with Jake Sullivan in the Obama administration. He is extraordinarily bright and because of that, advanced at record speed as a staffer to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and later Vice President

The national security adviser has two jobs. As the name suggests, they are the last and ideally closest counselor to the president in the Situation Room. Their second duty is to translate the commander in chief’s decisions and direction into practical policies. President Biden needs to fire his national security adviser and several other senior leaders who oversaw the botched execution of our withdrawal from Afghanistan . He has to restructure how and with whom he is making major foreign policy decisions, allowing for more input from career experts.

As we’ve all seen in recent days, the boss’ mind was made up.  But, in a case like this, you absolutely have to find a way to manage up and explain the real risks to pursuing the preferred presidential path. Instead of just going along, the national security adviser needs to lay out safer options that could accomplish the same stated goals.

Thuan Le Elston: Fall of Kabul, fall of Saigon: Their horror was our horror. Anguished, we pray for a miracle

It's not just on the decision to recklessly retreat from Afghanistan. The Biden administration has been stronger on slogans than substance when it comes to foreign policy. They promised America is back, but have disengaged in a surprising number of areas, from Cuba to Israel.

a group of people that are standing in the dirt: Stranded Afghans return to Afghanistan at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on Aug. 16, 2021. © AFP via Getty Images Stranded Afghans return to Afghanistan at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on Aug. 16, 2021.

Biden owns a string of failures

The past eight months have seen far too little attention paid to growing global threats. The White House has overemphasized the superficial and failed to make the necessary systematic changes after four destructive years of President Donald Trump.

Joe Biden's Speech on Afghanistan—7 Key Takeaways

  Joe Biden's Speech on Afghanistan—7 Key Takeaways The president said he stood by his decision to remove U.S. troops and that "nation building" was never the goal in Afghanistan.The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan two weeks before the U.S. was scheduled to fully withdraw its troops, who have been there since 2001.

The national security adviser has two jobs. As the name suggests, they are the last and ideally closest counselor to the president in the Situation Room. Their second duty is to translate the commander in chief’s decisions and direction into practical policies. Yes, Biden wanted out of Afghanistan . It was on Sullivan to figure out how to achieve the president’s goal while ensuring we avoided potential pitfalls and problems. That’s clearly not what happened. Stranded Afghans return to Afghanistan at the Pakistan- Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on Aug.

President Joe Biden ignored his own administration's failures when he tried to explain why desperate civilians in Afghanistan 's capital have been left stranded and in danger from the Taliban because of the swift U.S. departure. While asserting “the buck stops with me,” Biden on Monday blamed Afghans in large measure for the chaotic evacuation at Kabul's airport and conceded no missteps. THE FACTS: This is a misleading explanation that skirts the U.S. failure to anticipate and prepare for the rapid fall of the Afghan government.

Part of the problem has to do with personnel decisions. The White House has opted to pack political types into the most influential positions.

Indeed, there is only one career diplomat in a senior position on the National Security Council, the senior director for Africa. This is far fewer than under President Barack Obama. It means Sullivan and Biden are not getting advice from those with the most recent and relevant experience.

Political allies rewarded with jobs

Things do not get much better at the State Department, where for the first time in a quarter century, a current career diplomat is not in one of the top three jobs.

We can see the administration’s predilection for putting political appointees in national security positions in their choice of ambassadors. Biden has too often treated too many posts as political party favors, naming the well-to-do or the well-connected to places like Turkey, where diplomatic experience is normally a prerequisite.

Those appointments across the national security structure are a reflection of the arrogance that has accompanied the arrival of this team. They came in largely ignoring the worries and warnings of institutional experts on several major international issues.

Biden’s defense falls flat with Afghans still wondering if they will make it out before US leaves

  Biden’s defense falls flat with Afghans still wondering if they will make it out before US leaves ON THE DEFENSIVE: Under fire from all sides for the chaotic U.S. evacuation effort following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul, President Joe Biden helicoptered back from his Camp David vacation to defend his decision to end the American military mission in Afghanistan, while offering scant explanation for why the rapidity of the collapse of Afghan forces caught him off guard. © Provided by Washington Examiner DOD header 2020 “We planned for every contingency, but I always promised the American people that I would be straight with you.

First, we saw the border and refugee policies run into avoidable ditches. The president rushed to change policies without adequately consulting the experts working in those areas.

The Editorial Board: Biden's Afghanistan horror: A well-intentioned miscalculation with disastrous, predictable results

In both cases, the administration had to quickly backtrack. But, not before losing valuable time and credibility. Serious questions were also raised about their handling of relations with places like Saudi Arabia and Russia, where Biden has promised principled change. Then came Afghanistan.

Yes, we were always going to pull out. It was a question of how and when. Both of those were decisions that Sullivan had to use his role to carefully guide.

Unfortunately, it seems he allowed the president’s push for an end to our involvement in the country ahead of Sept. 11 to drive the American timeline. That was a catastrophic error. Our people were unprepared. We failed to get them out of harm's way. The Afghan government and military clearly were not ready, either.

President Biden needs to fire his national security adviser and several other senior leaders who oversaw the botched execution of our withdrawal from Afghanistan. He has to restructure how and with whom he is making major foreign policy decisions, allowing for more input from career experts.

Republicans blame Biden for the US's chaotic withdrawal but are glossing over how Trump's Taliban deal set up the disaster

  Republicans blame Biden for the US's chaotic withdrawal but are glossing over how Trump's Taliban deal set up the disaster Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to pin the blame "squarely" on Biden, without addressing Trump's role in brokering the flawed peace deal.Yet the decision to leave the country was originally negotiated under President Donald Trump and allowed the Taliban to strengthen their position against the US-backed government - a circumstance most Republicans skirted around in their criticism.

There should be absolutely no more donors appointed to represent us abroad. The stakes are just too high. Finally, there is an urgency to repairing the extensive damage done to our reputation and credibility on the world stage.

That’s going to require the president spending a lot more time than he has focused on global crises and listening to those who did not work on his campaign.

Brett Bruen was director of global engagement in the Obama White House. He is now president of Global Situation Room, a public relations firm, and adjunct professor of crisis communications at Georgetown University. Follow him on Twitter: @BrettBruen

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ex-Obama adviser: Why Biden must fire his national security adviser for Afghanistan failure

Defense secretaries in their own words: US 'invented reasons' to stay in Afghanistan .
The Taliban blitz exposes the failure of the 20-year Afghanistan war and portends terrorism threats, say former defense secretaries Panetta and Hagel.Afghan security forces, trained and equipped at the cost of $83 billion, wilted before Taliban fighters. With few exceptions, the Taliban rolled through provincial capitals without a fight despite a force of Afghan troops that was supposed to number more than 300,000.  In reality, there were far fewer Afghan forces because of desertions and commanders who reportedly pocketed the pay of ghost soldiers they had kept on rolls. For those who remained and fought, there wasn't enough ammunition and food, to say nothing of pay.

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This is interesting!