Joe Biden announced that all U.S. troops in Afghanistan will withdraw and a nice, neat, symmetrical ceremony will be held on September 11 to mark the occasion. This will end the longest, costliest (in dollars) war the United States has ever fought.
The 2,500 troops and 1,000 special forces, plus mountains of their equipment, will leave whether the Afghan government, people, and military are ready for it or not. The fact that none of them are close to being ready apparently doesn’t matter to Biden and his people.
There isn’t much of an Afghanistan government. And the few army units that are prepared to fight are no match for the Taliban soldiers, many of whom have been fighting since the war began in 2001. The enemy followed the North Vietnamese playbook of “How to Outlast a Superpower by Fighting an Insurgency.” The end was inevitable.
The “peace treaty” will be broken the moment the Taliban are ready to move in and take over. There is precious little fight in the current government and the Taliban should have little trouble regaining power.
There is something slightly sickening about having a formal ceremony on September 11 to recognize our failure. Why give our enemies a reason to make sport of us and dance on our graves? The people who are celebrating the most are the Left in the West and the Taliban — both of whom have long dreamed of the day they would see America’s backside leaving a place where so much of our blood was spilled and treasure spent.
The writing has been on the wall for more than a decade. Barack Obama never committed to the mission and gradually withdrew American strength in favor of “building up” the Afghanistan army so America could “stand down.” Donald Trump made no secret of his desire to get out of Afghanistan. The “peace deal” signed with the Taliban is a thinly veiled surrender to reality — the reality that the government and people of Afghanistan don’t have what it takes to stand on their own and will suffer for it.
“The intelligence community has made it clear that al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations will grow in the coming vacuum,” Rep. Mike Waltz, a Green Beret who fought in Afghanistan, said in a statement after the White House announced Biden’s decision.
The Taliban has promised not to allow terrorist groups to use Afghanistan as a base of operations. That’s not likely to last. Joe Biden is not going to start lobbing cruise missiles into al-Qaeda camps on the basis of a threat of an attack. And AQ won’t target Americans — yet. There are plenty of other soft targets in Europe and the Middle East that would damage American interests.
“The Taliban have not lived up to their commitments to break away with al Qaeda and have strategically planned for a total U.S. withdrawal in order to take back power,” Waltz added. “The Biden administration’s plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan is repeating the mistakes of President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.”
Senate Armed Forces Committee Ranking Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe also disagrees.
“No one wants a forever war, but I’ve consistently said any withdrawal must be conditions-based,” the Oklahoman said. “Arbitrary deadlines would likely put our troops in danger, jeopardize all the progress we’ve made, and lead to civil war in Afghanistan — and create a breeding ground for international terrorists. We’re talking about protecting American lives here.”
What’s that compared to giving Joe Biden his place in the history books as “the president who ended America’s longest war”?
Former Wall Street Journal Kabul correspondent Jessica Donati says that “setting an arbitrary departure date departs from two decades of defense policy and puts U.S. gains in jeopardy.”
“That’s a huge U-turn, and that’s all we’ve heard for the last 20 years,” she said. “The other surprise was that they would pick the September 11th anniversary, just because they’ve spent so long saying we’re not going to set arbitrary deadlines. I don’t think you could get much more arbitrary than an anniversary to decide to end your engagement in a war.”
The Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other terror groups such as the Haqqani Network are all still going to be in Afghanistan after we’re gone. Let’s just hope that Biden isn’t shameless enough to declare “victory” and go home.