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It didn’t have to happen, but it did.

Thursday’s attacks at the Kabul airport killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops.

The tragedy occurred just six days after President Joe Biden assured Americans in a statement that the U.S. government is “in constant contact with the Taliban, working to ensure civilians have safe passage to the airport. … We’ve made clear to the Taliban that any attack – any attack on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport will be met with a swift and forceful response.”

Military experts told USA Today that Thursday’s massacre was entirely preventable.

Joe Chenelly, national executive director of American Veterans and a former Marine who served in Afghanistan, criticized the Biden administration’s “reliance on a 20-year enemy for security.”

“It’s clear that we should not be depending on the Taliban to keep us American Marines, any Americans, or any allies safe,” Chenelly told the media outlet. “And that clearly was happening [Thursday], and has been for a while.”

And yet, the Biden administration continues to express full trust and confidence in the Taliban’s intentions.

“It’s a matter of mutual self-interest.” Biden told reporters Thursday, assuring there is no evidence of “collusion between the Taliban and ISIS in carrying out what happened today.”