KABUL (Tolo News): The Pentagon blocked members of President Joe Biden’s incoming administration from gaining access to critical information about current operations, including the troop drawdown in Afghanistan. Politico says the story is based on conversations with 10 Pentagon and Biden officials involved in the transition, most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.
Politico reported that people involved with the transition, both on the Biden team and the Pentagon side, gave a “detailed picture” of what was denied, “saying briefings on pressing defense matters never happened, were delayed to the last minute or were controlled by overbearing minders from the Trump administration’s side.” In one incident, the Pentagon abruptly canceled the transition team’s meeting with Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, which had been scheduled for just before Christmas. At the time, the acting defense secretary said both teams had agreed to reschedule all non-Covid related meetings until after the new year, but Biden officials publicly denied that claim.
The team was eventually able to speak with the general in January. But with the Trump administration down to 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and on a path to reach zero by May, “having a multiple-week delay in gaining access to Gen. Miller was not good,” the first transition official said. Biden called the stonewalling by the Pentagon “nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility” after meetings were canceled ahead of Christmas, the report said.
Biden said his team “needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies.” The interviewed officials said that the effort to obstruct the new administration on national security matters was “unprecedented in modern presidential transitions,” stated Politico. The interviewed officials said that the effort to obstruct the new administration on national security matters was “unprecedented in modern presidential transitions,” stated Politico.