The Afghanistan withdrawal will go down in history. It will be one of the highlights of Joe Biden's nascent presidency. Let me preface this by saying, this won't be a post to ridicule Joe Biden. I actually respect the office of the Presidency. That's probably the hardest job in the country, if not the world. It's easy for people who aren't in the arena to talk trash from the cheap seats. But, I must shed a little light on this event. I will tell the truth.
The truth about an absent-minded, career politician septuagenarian making the US look weak daily! Meanwhile, Kamala Harris has been spending time abroad in the Indo-Pacific, among other locations. Who is running the country? I haven't been in America since January so I get most news from online. I'm no foreign policy or Taliban expert, but I know wars cost money. They result in higher gas prices, long-term physical and psychological harm to kids and adults etc. Thus, I'm not against the withdrawal. However, the way that it was done.
It should have been done in a more gradual way to keep the Taliban at bay. For sure, a twenty plus year old war that seemingly had no end, is the topic of discussion at many water coolers nowadays. Countless resources spent over the course of two decades, and countless soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The Taliban apparently even took the high-tech guns from the US military.
Genesis of the Taliban
Maybe you're like me and were just a kid when The War on Terror began. So, probably you didn't really understand it fully. But back then, the buzzwords of Osama Bin Laden and September 11th were a cable news mainstay. Now, I'm the last person to be considered a foreign policy expert, but I have a stake in this. By default, off the strength of my nationality. Anyway, the Taliban had sheltered Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and so there's that connection. The U.S. entered Afghanistan on this very basis to topple the Taliban government. A Taliban government which controlled 90% of the country following the prior five-year Civil War.
Afghanistan Exit: What Happened?
In mid-August, Joe Biden withdrew US troops from Afghanistan. No doubt, the President's forty years worth of experience in foreign policy has been an item of debate. Some feel despite this breadth of experience as a Senator and Vice President, he was ill-prepared in this decision. The fact that he withdrew the troops, then sent back thousands to aid in the evacuation is symbolic of this. Additionally, eligible Afghanis, and other NATO officials. This withdrawal actually began with the Doha Agreement in February 2020.
This resulted in a pledge by the Taliban to prevent Al-Qaeda from operating in areas within their jurisdiction. Additionally, a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban and a downsizing of US troops there. By the time Biden took office the number of the troops there was downsized even more so. But Biden was intent on not passing down this war to a fifth US President. Critics hit him in the press for withdrawing, viewing it as chaotic, poorly executed; arguing that it left Afghan allies unsupported. US intelligence estimated that Kabul would fall within weeks following the withdrawal. It happened even sooner.
It's now open season for the Taliban to kill innocent citizens, and Afghan government security forces. Many of said citizens, whom are going to come to the US (and other countries) as refugees. These desperate refugees even forced their way into Kabul airport to flee the pending danger. Some even apparently clung to the side of the plane as it took off. This speaks volumes to the desperation and severity of their situation over there. I believe that something else dire will happen in the near future as a result of Biden's actions*. More missteps that make the US look super duper weak. C'mon man!
*UPDATE* More dire things have indeed happened as the Pentagon has finally admitted that a drone strike conducted on August 29th (only days after this article first appeared) was actually carried out on 10 civilians, contrary to previous Pentagon claims that the targets were "ISIS terrorists" who were allegedly planning suicide bombings at the Hamid Karzai International Airport. Turns out the 6 Reaper drones killed 7 children and 3 adults. And the beat goes on...