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Opinion: Biden's Afghanistan exit decision looks even worse a year later

excalibur

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It was horrible then, a giant failure by Biden.

Today, a year later, it looks even worse.

Today, Biden is hiding away saying nothing about the 1-year anniversary of his failure.


...

Why Biden went through with the withdrawal plan that he had inherited from Trump is still something of a puzzle since there was no large, vocal constituency in the Democratic Party that was demanding a total US pullout from Afghanistan, and Biden's top military advisers had clearly warned him of the risks of doing so.

In public testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and US CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, said they had advised the Biden administration that unless the US kept around 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan military would collapse. Collapse it did.

The "Taliban 2.0" delusion​

The publication of Haqqani's op-ed in The New York Times was emblematic of the wishful thinking about the Taliban in the US that had persisted for years. In this view the Taliban were just a bunch of misunderstood backwoodsmen who would eventually do what was only sensible: break with al Qaeda and abandon much of their misogynistic ideology as a quid pro quo for their recognition on the world stage.

This was a classic case of mirror imaging; the belief that the Taliban would do the rational things some gullible Americans expected them to do, as opposed to implementing the quasi-mediaeval ideology that has been at the core of their armed movement since they first emerged almost three decades ago. It was like imagining the Khmer Rouge would "mature" once they had taken power in Cambodia.

...

Signaling weakness to Russia and China​


When Biden spoke to the American people on Aug. 31, 2021, as the last US soldiers departed Afghanistan, he framed the withdrawal as a way of positioning the US to compete better against great-power rivals, saying, "We're engaged in a serious competition with China. We're dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia...And there's nothing China or Russia would rather have, would want more in this competition than the United States to be bogged down another decade in Afghanistan."

This was an absurd rationale: For years both China and Russia had hoped to push American forces out of Afghanistan because the country borders both China and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Russia had covertly supported the Taliban, according to the US military, while the Chinese had drawn closer to the Taliban in recent years.


...

Compounding Biden's disastrous policy decision to completely pull out of Afghanistan was the botched handling of the withdrawal. According to a report about that withdrawal released in February by Republican senators sitting on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first White House meeting to discuss evacuating Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan took place on Aug. 14, only one day before the Taliban seized Kabul and five months after Biden had first publicly announced the total US withdrawal from the country.

Biden patted himself on the back that the US military subsequently extracted 124,000 Afghans from Afghanistan, calling the operation an "extraordinary success," which was like an arsonist praising himself for helping to try to put out a fire that he had started.

But even accepting the most self-congratulatory view of the Biden administration's handling of the withdrawal, the vast majority of the Afghans who had worked with the US were abandoned. The Association of Wartime Allies, an advocacy group for Afghans who had worked for the US, estimated in March that only about 3% of the 81,000 Afghans who had worked for the US government and had applied for special visas had made it out of Afghanistan, leaving 78,000 behind.

...​


 

otto105

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It was horrible then, a giant failure by Biden.

Today, a year later, it looks even worse.

Today, Biden is hiding away saying nothing about the 1-year anniversary of his failure.


...​
Why Biden went through with the withdrawal plan that he had inherited from Trump is still something of a puzzle since there was no large, vocal constituency in the Democratic Party that was demanding a total US pullout from Afghanistan, and Biden's top military advisers had clearly warned him of the risks of doing so.​
In public testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and US CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, said they had advised the Biden administration that unless the US kept around 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan military would collapse. Collapse it did.​

The "Taliban 2.0" delusion​


The publication of Haqqani's op-ed in The New York Times was emblematic of the wishful thinking about the Taliban in the US that had persisted for years. In this view the Taliban were just a bunch of misunderstood backwoodsmen who would eventually do what was only sensible: break with al Qaeda and abandon much of their misogynistic ideology as a quid pro quo for their recognition on the world stage.​
This was a classic case of mirror imaging; the belief that the Taliban would do the rational things some gullible Americans expected them to do, as opposed to implementing the quasi-mediaeval ideology that has been at the core of their armed movement since they first emerged almost three decades ago. It was like imagining the Khmer Rouge would "mature" once they had taken power in Cambodia.​
...​

Signaling weakness to Russia and China​


When Biden spoke to the American people on Aug. 31, 2021, as the last US soldiers departed Afghanistan, he framed the withdrawal as a way of positioning the US to compete better against great-power rivals, saying, "We're engaged in a serious competition with China. We're dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia...And there's nothing China or Russia would rather have, would want more in this competition than the United States to be bogged down another decade in Afghanistan."
This was an absurd rationale: For years both China and Russia had hoped to push American forces out of Afghanistan because the country borders both China and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Russia had covertly supported the Taliban, according to the US military, while the Chinese had drawn closer to the Taliban in recent years.
...​
Compounding Biden's disastrous policy decision to completely pull out of Afghanistan was the botched handling of the withdrawal. According to a report about that withdrawal released in February by Republican senators sitting on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first White House meeting to discuss evacuating Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan took place on Aug. 14, only one day before the Taliban seized Kabul and five months after Biden had first publicly announced the total US withdrawal from the country.
Biden patted himself on the back that the US military subsequently extracted 124,000 Afghans from Afghanistan, calling the operation an "extraordinary success," which was like an arsonist praising himself for helping to try to put out a fire that he had started.​
But even accepting the most self-congratulatory view of the Biden administration's handling of the withdrawal, the vast majority of the Afghans who had worked with the US were abandoned. The Association of Wartime Allies, an advocacy group for Afghans who had worked for the US, estimated in March that only about 3% of the 81,000 Afghans who had worked for the US government and had applied for special visas had made it out of Afghanistan, leaving 78,000 behind.​
...​


20 years is enough.
 

TNHarley

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It was about the only good thing that senile pants shitter has done.
He did it horribly, but he got us out. He deserves credit for that.
 

TNHarley

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Nate

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But all the cockroaches died :dunno:
I mean other than President Ghani running off with over $200 million dollars, us leaving billion of dollars worth of equipment, and leaving special ops and interpreters on their own... Yay?

I just wish it wasn't rushed. I was all for pulling out of that shit show of a 20+ war, just seems it was pushed so President Biden had talking points during his Sept. 11th speech.
 

otto105

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It was about the only good thing that senile pants shitter has done.
He did it horribly, but he got us out. He deserves credit for that.
What about 3.5% unemployment rate?
 

otto105

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More than enough but the withdrawal wasn't the issue. It was the stupid, catastrophic way he chose to do it.
We didn’t get a chance to do it any other way. The Afghanistan government collapsed.
 

JoeB131

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It was horrible then, a giant failure by Biden.

Today, a year later, it looks even worse.

Not really. Continuing to piss away blood and treasure would have been stupid. WE WERE THERE FOR 20 YEARS, and people basically couldn't WAIT for the Taliban to come back.

Imagine if we spent that 2 trillion dollars we spent in Afghanistan fixing things in this country.

This is a great case of the "Sunk Cost Fallacy". We've invested so much into a thing, so we need to keep investing.


In public testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and US CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, said they had advised the Biden administration that unless the US kept around 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan military would collapse. Collapse it did.

Yeah, there's a certain point where the military doesn't have credibility on this issue. We fought there for 20 years. The "Afghan Military" were a bunch of local warlords who switched side depending on where the wind was blowing, and they knew after Trump signed the Doha accords, the Afghan government wasn't going to last.

The publication of Haqqani's op-ed in The New York Times was emblematic of the wishful thinking about the Taliban in the US that had persisted for years. In this view the Taliban were just a bunch of misunderstood backwoodsmen who would eventually do what was only sensible: break with al Qaeda and abandon much of their misogynistic ideology as a quid pro quo for their recognition on the world stage.

This was a classic case of mirror imaging; the belief that the Taliban would do the rational things some gullible Americans expected them to do, as opposed to implementing the quasi-mediaeval ideology that has been at the core of their armed movement since they first emerged almost three decades ago. It was like imagining the Khmer Rouge would "mature" once they had taken power in Cambodia.

Okay, some problems with this. The first is thinking that if there were no Taliban, the Afghan people would come to love Coca-Cola and McDonalds. This is idiotic thinking. NOBODY likes a foreign country coming in and telling them how to live. We didn't learn this lesson 50 years ago in Vietnam, and we didn't learn it 120 years ago in the Philippines.

This was an absurd rationale: For years both China and Russia had hoped to push American forces out of Afghanistan because the country borders both China and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Russia had covertly supported the Taliban, according to the US military, while the Chinese had drawn closer to the Taliban in recent years.

Not seeing a problem here. If China wants to piss away trillions of dollars in resources in Afghanistan... let them. China has plenty of her own problems. She just lost a shitload of money trying to buy influence in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and both of those countries are now in economic freefall, sucking up a billions of Yuan in the process. The country is in economic turmoil because people are refusing to pay mortgages on houses that haven't been built yet.

Compounding Biden's disastrous policy decision to completely pull out of Afghanistan was the botched handling of the withdrawal. According to a report about that withdrawal released in February by Republican senators sitting on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first White House meeting to discuss evacuating Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan took place on Aug. 14, only one day before the Taliban seized Kabul and five months after Biden had first publicly announced the total US withdrawal from the country.

Uh, Americans were told to get out of Afghanistan back in April of 2021. But a lot of these contractors refused to listen, trying to pick the last bit of meat off the bone.

But even accepting the most self-congratulatory view of the Biden administration's handling of the withdrawal, the vast majority of the Afghans who had worked with the US were abandoned. The Association of Wartime Allies, an advocacy group for Afghans who had worked for the US, estimated in March that only about 3% of the 81,000 Afghans who had worked for the US government and had applied for special visas had made it out of Afghanistan, leaving 78,000 behind.

Fuck 'em. They had every opportunity to fight for the Afghanistan they wanted. They didn't fight very hard, did they?
 

TNHarley

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I mean other than President Ghani running off with over $200 million dollars, us leaving billion of dollars worth of equipment, and leaving special ops and interpreters on their own... Yay?

I just wish it wasn't rushed. I was all for pulling out of that shit show of a 20+ war, just seems it was pushed so President Biden had talking points during his Sept. 11th speech.
Oh yeah. The way he did it was horrible.
Of course, he is a fuck up. Always has been. Guess it should have been expected.
 

JoeB131

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Oh yeah. The way he did it was horrible.
Of course, he is a fuck up. Always has been. Guess it should have been expected.

The fuck up was going in there to start with for any other reason than Killing Bin Laden.

The compounding fuckup was staying for 20 years long after our goals had been lost.
 

Golfing Gator

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It was about the only good thing that senile pants shitter has done.
He did it horribly, but he got us out. He deserves credit for that.

Yep, he did it in the worst possible way, but at least he did it
 

TNHarley

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The fuck up was going in there to start with for any other reason than Killing Bin Laden.

The compounding fuckup was staying for 20 years long after our goals had been lost.
It was a fuckup from beginning to the end.
 

JoeB131

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Yep, he did it in the worst possible way, but at least he did it

I don't think there was going to be a good way to do it, really.

We've had terrorists blowing up troops for 20 years in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's what happens when you half-ass a war.

If we were serious, we'd have had a draft, raised taxes and gone on a war footing, not promise a bunch of kids a college education that never happens and then wonder why they stop signing up. We worked under a premise that they wanted us to "liberate" them when in fact, the Taliban is their culture.

THe worst thing we could have done to the Taliban is let them win. Now they have to keep the lights on and distribute food and do a lot of other stuff they aren't capable of doing.
 

TNHarley

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Yes, it was. So let's give Biden his props for doing what Bush, Obama and Trump didn't have the courage to do, stand up to the Generals and put an end to it.
I did!
 

Golfing Gator

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I don't think there was going to be a good way to do it, really.

We've had terrorists blowing up troops for 20 years in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's what happens when you half-ass a war.

If we were serious, we'd have had a draft, raised taxes and gone on a war footing, not promise a bunch of kids a college education that never happens and then wonder why they stop signing up. We worked under a premise that they wanted us to "liberate" them when in fact, the Taliban is their culture.

THe worst thing we could have done to the Taliban is let them win. Now they have to keep the lights on and distribute food and do a lot of other stuff they aren't capable of doing.

The "good" way to do is not to push it back by 5 months so you can have a made for TV moment on 9/11. This gave the Taliban time to take over 99% of the country and get in the way of what you are trying to do
 

JoeB131

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The "good" way to do is not to push it back by 5 months so you can have a made for TV moment on 9/11. This gave the Taliban time to take over 99% of the country and get in the way of what you are trying to do

Except there's no evidence he did that... quite the contrary, the main reason why final evacuation was extended was the war contractors weren't removing their people fast enough.
 

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