Pentagon Spox on How Kabul Security Efforts ‘Fell Short,’ Allowing Kabul Attack to Happen: Clearly, Something Went Wrong

‘There are credible threats — in fact, I’d say specific credible threats — and we want to make sure we’re prepared’


KIRBY: "Barb, I would tell you, from the very get go, even before we had specific threat assessment, force protection was of paramount importance to General McKenzie, certainly to the secretary, and I don’t want to speak for the chairman, but I think I can for Gen. Milley as well in this regard. I can tell you that from the very beginning, force protection was always at the front of everybody’s mind. And force protection, as you well know, particularly in a dynamic environment, is something that changes all the time. And so, as we got more information, we made adjustments to force protection measures to try to do the best we could at what we thought were the specific threats we were facing. And you heard the General talk yesterday about even overwatch in the air, I mean there was a lot of effort being done, which included, as the General said, included daily communication with the Taliban about the nature of the threat and sharing with them the appropriate, relevant information about what we knew. Now, clearly, all of that effort — and there was a lot of effort — clearly fell short in some way because this attack was able to be perpetrated and we did suffer, as well as our Afghan friends, suffered casualties. We’re going to do the forensics on this, Barb, and clearly try to figure out what went wrong, because clearly something went wrong, but it would be irresponsible if we didn’t act immediately to just — to double down and make sure that we were — that we were being as anticipatory as possible, because we still believe there are credible threats — in fact, I’d say specific credible threats — and we want to make sure we’re prepared for those.”

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