News & Politics

Democrat Talking Points Spin Fall of Afghanistan as a 'Possibility,' Not an 'Inevitability'

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Joe Biden emerges from his weekend jaunt to Camp David to find a world in flames. Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban. China is rattling its saber at Taiwan while it and Russia prepare to welcome the new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The fall of Afghanistan and the consequences that will follow are very much Joe Biden’s work product. The following set of talking points from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office is more of the same.

The fact that these leaked is significant. Pelosi may be preparing to abandon Biden. Note that under the SIV Applicants section, Gen. Mark Milley’s name is misspelled, indicating that the talking points were very hastily cobbled together.

The talking points say:

“The president was not willing to enter a third decade of conflict and surge in thousands of more troops to fight a civil war that Afghanistan wouldn’t fight for themselves.”

“The administration knew that there was a distinct possibility that Kabul would fall to the Taliban.”

“The administration planned for every possibility. We had contingency plans in place for any eventuality –including a quick fall of Kabul. That’s why we had troops pre-positioned in the region to deploy as they have done.”

“Chairman Miley [sic] and Secretary Austin are working to restore order at the airport so those flights can take place.”

“Was this an intelligence failure.”

“[The fall of Kabul] was not an inevitability. It was a possibility.”

“The President said in July that the Afghan military had the capability to fight the Taliban. But they had to demonstrate the will. Tragically, that will did not materialize.”

“When Trump made the Doha agreement there were 13,000 US troops in Afghanistan. When POTUS took office — Trump had drawn down troops to 2500. It’s clear from the past few weeks that would have been necessary.”

“The United States face [sic] terrorist threats in countries around the world including Syria, Libya and Yeman. We don’t have boots on the ground in those countries. We have over the horizon counter terrorism capabilities. And that’s what we’ll do in Afghanistan — prevent, detect and disrupt terrorism threats with over the horizon capabilities.”

“And, we’ll hold the Taliban accountable to [sic] not allowing Al Qaeda a safe haven. If they do, there will be consequences that we’ll pursue.”

The talking points emphasize that Biden was not willing to continue into a third decade of war in Afghanistan. That’s putting a calendar on the war instead of reading conditions and acting based on those conditions. The plan that was in place when Biden assumed office had 2,500 U.S. troops and thousands of other allied troops in place, and based U.S. actions on conditions on the ground. Biden has now ordered 7,000 troops into Afghanistan to deal with evacuations, nearly three times the number of troops that were in Afghanistan when he took office.

Biden’s decision to withdraw absent conditions pulled the rug out from under the government and military of Afghanistan, and reports have flowed out over the tumultuous weekend that he cut intelligence and aircraft maintenance capabilities off from the Afghan military without warning. Without intelligence or aerial capabilities, the Afghan military that Biden will blame for the fall was left blind. At the same time, reports have surfaced that the Taliban both negotiated and paid its way past the Afghan military. Biden’s decision to cut off intel and aircraft, which he reportedly made over the objections of his military command, would have given the Afghan military the message that they had no friend in Washington anymore. That killed the alliance, making the fall of Kabul inevitable.

Biden and his allies will surely use the hastily written talking points above in their communications going forward. The bottom line is that Biden inherited a fragile but manageable situation. He ran for the presidency selling his foreign policy expertise across about 50 years in public office, including the Senate and the vice presidency.

He removed conditions from the withdrawal plan that he inherited. He chose to do this ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9-11, and during the Afghanistan fighting season. His actions amount to kicking a fire-ant hill. Thousands of terrorists have been freed from Afghan prisons. The Taliban owns more territory today than it controlled on Sept. 11, 2001. Our enemies are encouraged and our allies are fearful — and our border remains wide open to whoever wants to cross into the United States, for whatever reason.

The talking points claim that this outcome was one they planned for. As many as 80,000 are stranded in Afghanistan, many under fire at the Kabul airport. A refugee crisis is surely just beginning as the Taliban tightens its grip.