The evacuations from Afghanistan went so wrong. This was acknowledged by outgoing Foreign Minister Kag in a debate with the House of Representatives. She described it as a “bitter truth”.
According to the minister, the Netherlands acted on the basis of five false assumptions about the fall of the Afghan capital. “What I’m saying is, obviously, we’ve had a complete blind spot in how bad it can get and how quickly that bad is going to get.” She emphasized that the Netherlands is not alone in this media position for other countries, she said.
Kaag was the first to mention that the Taliban’s advance came faster than expected. “They were surprised by themselves.” In addition, the “relative weakness” of the Afghan armed forces was a surprise. “We were expecting more resilience and training.”
Reliance on Americans
The third wrong assumption was the rate at which Kabul would fall and the fourth was the assessment of security risks around the airport, from which evacuations were to eventually take place.
The final setback that Kag mentioned was the reliance on the Americans in charge of the airport at the time of the evacuation. “The high level of dependence on the United States has negatively affected planning.”
Earlier in the debate, which began at 3 p.m. this afternoon, the government came under heavy criticism. Representatives were unhappy with the speed of the evacuation and the fact that interpreters and others were still trapped in the country.