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What Has Biden’s Afghanistan Policy Wrought?

Brett Davis

Posted on August 31, 2021 07:40

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The administration’s ill-planned military retreat from that country portends ominous short- and long-term consequences.

America’s failure in Afghanistan is complete.

With the last U.S. military transports out of the country, America’s two-decades-long misadventure in the “graveyard of empires” comes to a devastating conclusion. Perverse irony reigns in the form of the Biden administration gifting Afghanistan back to the al-Qaeda-sheltering Taliban on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against America.

Beyond that national humiliation, the Biden administration’s messy departure from Afghanistan augurs for a cascade of related problems, both in the near-term and beyond.

American credibility on the world stage is now threadbare. Biden’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan saw him allow the Taliban to dictate terms to the world’s most powerful military, leaving allies in-country and around the world dismayed and enemies emboldened.

The government of America’s most reliable partner condemned the president’s decision, with the United Kingdom’s Parliament doing Biden the dishonor of holding him in contempt for his negligent withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

America’s most formidable geopolitical foe was also on the move, both rhetorically and otherwise, vis-à-vis Afghanistan. China — already looking to back the Taliban through mining investments in Afghanistan — publicly taunted Taiwan via an editorial in its Global Times mouthpiece questioning Washington’s resolve to save the island nation were the Chinese military to invade. To drive the point home, the next day Chinese armed forces conducted assault drills near Taiwan.

The destruction of American credibility with friend and foe alike is compounded by the strategic mistake of leaving Afghanistan, which could revert back to becoming a base for international terrorism under the rule of its new Taliban masters. Biden has abandoned Afghanistan to the very religious-political extremists that drew America there in the first place.

Biden has attempted to assuage fears of Afghanistan turning into a safe haven for terrorists by speaking favorably of the Pentagon’s over-the-horizon capabilities. His optimism is misplaced, belied by the reality of having withdrawn all troops from Afghanistan, greatly diminishing America’s ability to monitor and stage operations against terrorists there.

The Biden administration’s sickening attempt to wash its hands of the situation by precipitously removing military eyes and ears from Afghanistan will not, however, shield the U.S. government from the worsening bloodbath in that country. Among other atrocities, the Taliban is hunting down and killing any Afghans who worked with the U.S. government over the last 20 years.

The hideous suffering of the people of Afghanistan and their oppression, again, by the cruel totalitarian Taliban regime will be the result of the ultimate defeat of U.S. policy aims, not the original decision to annihilate the Taliban for harboring and supporting Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist organization responsible for the deadliest terrorist strike on U.S. soil.

It remains to be seen if America’s tail-between-its-legs evacuation of Afghanistan is a temporary setback of failed political leadership that can be ameliorated over time, or the beginning of the end of Pax Americana.

Brett Davis

Posted on August 31, 2021 07:40

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