The chaos in Afghanistan continues to provide new crisis management lessons for companies and organizations when they are confronted with their own disasters, scandals or emergencies.
These lessons are in addition to those I wrote about earlier this week just as the foreign crisis was unfolding.
Pay Attention To Early Warnings
The New York Times reported that in July, “… many intelligence reports grew more pessimistic, questioning whether any Afghan security forces would muster serious resistance and whether the government could hold on in Kabul, the capital. President Biden said on July 8 that the Afghan government was unlikely to fall and that there would be no chaotic evacuations of Americans similar to the end of the Vietnam War.
“The drumbeat of warnings over the summer raise questions about why Biden administration officials, and military planners in Afghanistan, seemed ill-prepared to deal with the Taliban’s final push into Kabul, including a failure to ensure security at the main airport and rushing thousands more troops back to the country to protect the United States’ final exit.”
On Friday, Biden delivered televised remarks—his second within days—about the crisis and answered questions from reporters.
Explain Possible Risks
Biden warned that sending troops further into Kabul could lead to “unintended consequences.” He said that a large evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan is a risky operation, and he cannot guarantee the final outcome.
Go The Extra Distance
Biden said that he’s considering every option to evacuate Americans, including entering Kabul or expanding the military’s perimeter if needed.
Be Prepared For Criticism
Biden has been criticized by both Democrats and Republican for his decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan and the planning and preparation (or lack thereof) for getting Americans out that country.
Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver
In his remarks yesterday, Biden said, ““Make no mistake, this evacuation mission is dangerous. It involves risks to our armed forces and it’s being conducted under difficult circumstances. I cannot promise what the final outcome will be or … that it will be without risk of loss. But as commander in chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize every resource necessary.”