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Rational Politics

Thoughts by Charles E. Brown

The Fall of Afghanistan

ByCharles E. Brown

Aug 16, 2021
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In preparing my essays I often try to plan them out a few days in advance and carefully think things through. However, sometimes news of such magnitude breaks that I have quickly retool. It should come as no surprise that the fall of Afghanistan changed a lot. However, while the fall is devastating and tragic news, we need to look at how our incompetent and unqualified president was the root cause behind it.

Last Saturday President Joe Biden made a statement in which he shamefully and incompetently washed his hands of the situation. And, if all of that wasn’t bad enough, he blamed his own incompetence on former President Donald Trump. For all practical purposes, he treated Trump worst than he treated the Taliban.

Mr. Trump warned, many times, about the risks of withdrawing from Afghanistan too quickly. Mr. Biden just proved his warnings were correct. Mr. Biden was just too arrogant to listen to that warning.

To quote Mr. Biden:

“One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a different if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country.”

On this point Mr. Biden was very wrong. The Afghans were very willing to fight and make sacrifices but needed the support of the U.S. and NATO to sustain the fight.

Mr. Biden then went on to pathetically say:

“When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500. Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our forces and our allies’ forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict.”

This is nothing more than a denial of his own competence. Even if Mr. Biden disagreed with Trump’s withdrawal negotiations he could have examined options with better incomes than the disgrace we are seeing today. Even his own advisors suggested maintaining a small military presence and he could have withdrawn slowly while providing the Afghans a plan for transition. Instead, he timed a rapid withdrawal to coincide with the symbolic 20th-anniversary of 9/11.

As a Vietnam veteran, watching the news this weekend brought back memories of 1975 and the fall of Saigon. I am seeing helicopters evacuating U.S. diplomats and hearing reports of the embassy destroying classified documents while the Taliban is taking over abandoned valuable U.S. military equipment. The final indignity was seeing the flag lowered on the embassy. In danger now are thousands of translators and embassy staff and their families. If Mr. Biden was going to withdraw, why didn’t he make arrangements for getting all of these people out earlier? Instead, he has to send 5,000 marines for an emergency evacuations. If any of these people are murdered by the Taliban the blood will be on the hands of this president.

Mr. Biden is completing this horror show by taking a vacation while Afghanistan falls. With the rise of the Taliban expect a rise in terrorism. And with a virtually non-existent U.S. southern border the terrorists will easily walk into the United States and do their damage.

Rest assured, we will be paying the price of this disgrace for many years to come and none of it will be good. The really sad part: none of it was necessary. It is just plain and blatant incompetence on a world-wide scale.

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