September 1, 2021
They didn’t even wait until their August 31 deadline was up…
And the Biden team still left Americans behind.
The U.S. military is no longer in Afghanistan, and we are left to wonder: How did our final hours in America’s longest war turn into such a debacle?
Despite the frenzied nature of the exit, the Biden White House is surely just relieved that a weeks-long news cycle focused on their extreme incompetence is over.
It was impossible to put a proper public-relations spin on the unbelievably fast collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces after Biden said they were 300,000-plus strong and as well-equipped as any army in the world (also not true).
The American people saw one of the biggest intelligence and policy failures in living memory unfold in real time… And the mythology of Biden as the steady hand who could steer America through tough times evaporated with it.
In July, Biden’s team thought they would have many more months to plan for the U.S. to exit Afghanistan – in reality, it was just days.
Without any way to explain the stunningly inept withdrawal plan, Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, gave a speech on Monday, August 30 at the State Department, officially declaring that the U.S. evacuation of Kabul had finished ahead of schedule:
Now U.S. military flights have ended. And our troops have departed Afghanistan. A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It’s one in which we will lead with our diplomacy. The military mission is over.
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But there’s one glaring problem… While the withdrawal mission was accomplished, there are still Americans stuck in Afghanistan, left to the mercy of the Taliban. Secretary Blinken insists the number is low, and not to worry – there will be continued efforts to get them out of the country:
We believe there are still a small number of Americans, under 200 and likely closer to 100, who remain in Afghanistan and want to leave. We’re trying to determine exactly how many. We’re going through manifests and calling and texting through our lists, and we will have more details to share as soon as possible.
What is said much more quietly in policy circles is that the evacuation of these remaining Americans will be up to the Taliban’s consent. It has not yet turned into a full-blown hostage crisis, but it very well could.
The Taliban’s new leadership could easily decide to leverage the remaining Americans for concessions on our side. To deepen America’s humiliation at leaving behind our own on a foreign battlefield, the Taliban could even demand an exorbitant “exfiltration” fee for any American whom it allows to escape.
GOP lawmakers have since blasted Biden and his administration for withdrawing troops despite not having all Americans evacuated… Sen. Ben Sasse called the evacuation a “national disgrace” and a “direct result of President Biden’s cowardice and incompetence.”
Sen. Bill Hagerty also said that Biden “will forever be remembered for leaving American citizens and U.S. legal permanent residents behind and in harm’s way in Afghanistan.”
Joe Biden: Jimmy Carter, But Worse
The optics here would certainly strengthen the comparisons already being made between Biden and Jimmy Carter – though they are becoming increasingly unfair to Jimmy Carter, who for all his shortcomings was smarter and more capable than Biden has ever shown himself to be.
Another major challenge for the Biden team is going to be the ramifications of arming and equipping what is now the largest terrorist army in the world.
The Taliban has seized billions of dollars of military equipment, including Black Hawk helicopters, armored Humvees, attack planes, and even some C-130 cargo aircraft. They have enough small arms to equip a military several times larger than their current standing force.
To say it’s an embarrassment for the U.S. taxpayer to have armed up our terrorist foes is a gross understatement…
Will the Taliban end up playing host again to major international Jihadist entities like Al Qaeda? That’s the critical question right now for which no one can offer a clear answer.
That the Taliban recently hanged someone from a Black Hawk helicopter in broad daylight flying over Kabul is a pretty strong indicator that they are not some kinder, gentler terrorist group. There are also plenty of early reports of gruesome reprisal killings against any Afghan who worked with the U.S. military.
Whether the Biden administration pays a political price for the debacle of the drawdown remains to be seen…
Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb just wrote in The National Interest magazine:
Perhaps we should look at the calamitous blunderings in Afghanistan as an opportunity to demand a true turning point. Americans know that a great deal of our governmental process is now either institutionally corrupt or calcified… The military itself is increasingly being used by leftist activists as a social laboratory to advance extreme political agendas.
Recent polling puts the president’s approval rating in the low 40s, but the midterms are still more than a year away… That’s plenty of time to change, lie, misdirect, and alter public perception of Joe’s Afghan calamity.
And the perfidious media will go into overdrive to help him…
Give it a week or two, and the Democrat corporate journalists will be talking about Biden’s “genius” in ending the war and the amazing improvisation his team showed under pressure – and they will look at anyone who questions this Soviet-style rewriting of recent history like they’re the crazy one.
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