(Headline USA) The Pentagon revealed this week that China used President Joe Biden’s disastrous military withdrawal from Afghanistan to spread propaganda meant to erode international support for the U.S.
“In 2021, the [People’s Republic of China] employed multiple diplomatic tools in an attempt to erode US and partner influence, such as highlighting the US withdrawal from Afghanistan,” the Pentagon said in a new report released Tuesday, according to the New York Post.
Chinese officials and media outlets “also repeatedly condemned the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited the withdrawal as evidence that the US is an unreliable partner and declining power,” according to the report.
Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from the region in 2021 left thousands of Americans stranded and 13 U.S. troops dead, and drew immense criticism both at home and abroad.
The administration has routinely deflected blame for the disaster, instead touting its efforts to evacuate more than 100,000 U.S. citizens and Afghan allies who were in the region at the time.
When pressed over the Pentagon’s report, John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, continued to downplay the significance of the withdrawal, denying that it gave China leverage.
“Nations like China and Russia took a look at what we did in Afghanistan, and we’ve talked about this many, many times over the last year, and had to marvel at the speed, the efficiency of their effectiveness that very small number… of troops… are able to move that many Afghans safely out of that country,” Kirby claimed on Wednesday. “No other nation in the world can do that.”
Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade pushed back on Kirby, reminding him that 13 U.S. servicemembers lost their lives because of Biden’s withdrawal.
“The way we did it, the way we promised that government would stand up, the way we were going to leave in and have a transition, the disaster that took place is one of the many problems, along with the soldiers that are suffering now by the way,” Kilmeade said.