The Department of Defense (DOD) was warned that the Afghan Air Force would collapse without help from the U.S. months before President Joe Biden announced the country would withdraw from Afghanistan, according to a declassified watchdog report.
The watchdog report, declassified Tuesday and written by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko, was given to the DOD in January 2021, according to The Associated Press. It warned that the U.S. had not adequately trained support staff for the country and that the Afghan Air Force wouldn’t be able to keep up aircraft without U.S. help.
The report highlights the fact that the Biden administration was warned months ahead of time of the collapse of the Afghan Air Force. Biden was sharply criticized for his administration’s withdrawal process from the country, though the president has maintained that chaos was inevitable. His administration has also claimed that while they were prepared for the chaos, Afghanistan fell more quickly than anticipated following a rapid Taliban takeover.