ISIS was born out of Barack Obama’s hasty withdrawal from Iraq. Joe Biden backed that withdrawal.
Donald Trump came into office, assessed the situation, and crushed ISIS.
Now, CNN reports that ISIS is back and prowling the streets of Kabul, which Joe Biden left to fall to the Taliban. It was a threat from ISIS-K, an offshoot of ISIS that operates in Afghanistan and includes veteran terrorists from Syria and Iraq, that sparked the State Department’s chilling message to Americans in Kabul this weekend to not try to get to the airport, which is their only way out of Afghanistan.
The US military is establishing “alternative routes” to Kabul airport because of a threat the terror group ISIS-K poses to the airport and its surroundings, as President Joe Biden met with senior officials Saturday to discuss the security situation in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism operations against the Islamic State offshoot.
“There is a strong possibility ISIS-K is trying to carry off an attack at the airport,” a US defense official told CNN. A senior diplomat in Kabul said they are aware of a credible but not immediate threat by Islamic State against Americans at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
“Alternative routes”? How will the military do this without extending its area of operations beyond the airport, to which Biden has confined it thus far? How will it do this with just the few thousand troops it has, and no base from which to operate? The commander in country as of July 2021, Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, proposed collapsing Bagram to center operations on the embassy, and that plan was briefed and approved all the way up to the White House. They all know the military has no substantial base from which to operate in Afghanistan.
The situation in Afghanistan is not improving, in fact, according to reporters on the ground it’s deteriorating and Saturday was the worst day yet. Thousands are stuck in vehicles or on foot all around HKIA. We are probably one or two terrorist attacks away from the unthinkable. A suicide bomber in the crowd at the airport plus a mortar or RPG attack that damages the runway will cause the dire situation to slip immediately into a tragedy beyond imagination.
The pace of evacuations actually slowed on Saturday even without such an attack.
ISIS-K is supposedly an enemy of the Taliban, but it’s a worse and hardened enemy of the United States. The Biden team is counting on the Taliban, unbelievably, to ensure that the thousands of Americans stranded in Afghanistan can get to HKIA and get out.
The Taliban has bases from which to operate. ISIS-K is there and presumably has safehouses from which to operate. U.S. forces remain surrounded at the airport. At least some of the single runway’s time will eventually have to be used to fly in supplies to the troops and the civilians stranded there, along with flying people out. This will slow the evacuation. Qatar is reportedly full of evacuees and overwhelmed just processing the ones flown there since Kabul’s fall a week ago today. Bottlenecks are starting to show and slow down the entire process.
And now ISIS, which was all but dead under Trump, can issue a threat, make the State Department dance, and can launch a potentially devastating attack at any time of its choosing.
The decision to abandon Bagram looks more ridiculous and tragic by the day. That base should have been the very last soil the military gave up, not among the first.
Joe Biden’s presidency is a catastrophe for the United States.