General McKenzie admitted today that the U.S. drone strike in Kabul of August 29 was not, in fact, “righteous,” as General Milley described it two weeks ago, but was an absolute disaster. “As many as ten civilians, including up to seven children,” McKenzie said, “were tragically killed in that strike. Moreover, we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K.”
I wonder what the excuse for this one will be? That this was the plan all along? That any president exiting Afghanistan would have droned seven kids in a Toyota? That this shows once again why we had to leave Afghanistan in the way we did — because, if we hadn’t, the president would still be incinerating children?
This happened because Biden felt that it was politically necessary to hit someone in order to change the narrative, and so he hit someone in order to change the narrative. Presumably, it did not help matters that, by August 29, the United States had become reliant upon the Taliban for intelligence.
At the time of the strike, CENTCOM spokesman Bill Urban contended that “significant secondary explosions from the vehicle” indicated that the targeted car was equipped with a bomb. However, McKenzie said on Friday that the secondary explosion was likely a propane tank in a nearby driveway.
CENTCOM initially said the strike neutralized a potential ISIS-K car bomb en route to Kabul airport, where an ISIS-K suicide bomber killed 13 American service members and almost 200 Afghans days earlier.
“The procedures were correctly followed and it was a righteous strike,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley said initially following the strike. On Friday, Milley acknowledged the mistake.
Biden apologists are casting this “mistake” as one final indignity on the way out of the Middle East. But this, too, isn’t quite right, given that hundreds of American citizens and U.S. permanent residents remain trapped in Afghanistan — where they’ll presumably stay until, once again, it’s time for a change in the news cycle.