Biden Officials Prioritized Climate As Kabul Crumbled

Leaked emails reveal that Pentagon officials attempted to get the Secretary of Defense to endorse a significant climate change plan during the Biden administration’s troop pullout from Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense Climate Adaptation Plan was rushed to completion between August 15, 2021, when Kabul fell to the Taliban, and August 30, 2021, when the last U.S. military plane left Afghanistan. The plan addressed climate change as a significant danger to national security.

Initially unsuccessful, the initiative proved fruitful, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signing the climate initiative on September 1st, six days after a Taliban suicide bomber murdered 13 Americans. U.S. Army Reserve member James Fitzpatrick claims that DoD climate activists pressured top military leaders to expedite a plan to transform the Department by forcing politically charged discussions of climate change into every decision the DoD makes while the Biden administration was amid a disastrous and deadly Afghanistan withdrawal.

Joe Bryan and Richard Kidd, two high-ranking Pentagon officials, spearheaded the initiative during the height of the Afghanistan conflict. They corresponded about the Climate Adaptation Plan and how to get Austin to sign it. However, getting the Secretary of Defense to sign the CAP this week seems unlikely. The mission in Afghanistan had devolved into a major crisis, with people falling out of planes, approximately 200 people being killed by terrorists as they crowded the airport in search of evacuation, and a botched military drone strike killing civilians rather than the intended terrorists. Austin did not sign a climate plan.

In retrospect, the United States’ decision to pull out of Afghanistan was a significant military failure, leaving around 800 Americans and many Afghan friends behind because they feared reprisals from the Taliban. A new book on the Afghanistan pullout by James Hasson and Jerry Dunleavy claims that the government’s military operations were often hampered by political agendas, such as the need for coronavirus vaccinations, which meant certain vital employees could not participate.

Political appointees focusing on climate change probably couldn’t have made much of a difference, but they should have remained out of the way.