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The Failure of the 'Adults in the Room'

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Back in 2010, the Obama/Biden administration began its pivot to Afghanistan, calling it the War of Necessity. Until then it had been lightly outposted and the jihadis’ center of gravity was in the Middle East. I denounced the idiocy of it in May 2010, eleven years ago in the Belmont Club.

It turns out that a lot of people were thinking the same way. One anonymous letter from a military person to Instapundit says:

Remember 2010? While the Obama admin was in the process of pissing away the win in Iraq, and giving that place to the Iranians, predictably precipitating the rise both Iran and ISIS, Biden was given the job of deciding what to do with Afghanistan. Afghanistan was the war the lefties liked. But only to beat up on Iraq. They said all the resources should go to Afghanistan. But when Petraeus put forward a surge/anti-corruption reform plan for Afghanistan, Biden, directed to look at that, dithered for six months. Or maybe it was nine, I forget. Then he cut the request in half.

Remember the slogan “end the war on terror where it began”? They turned it into Nation Building. The absurdity of that is obvious looking at a map. Afghanistan is surrounded by Iran, Russia, China (that little finger off to the upper right), and Pakistan. There is no land route to U.S forces there. Every ton of concrete, round of ammunition, Humvee and truck had to be shipped in through Iran, Russia, and Pakistan, the privilege of which was paid for by U.S. taxpayers, or else there would be ambushes along the way. This was convenient for the administration’s advocates of engaging Iran and Pakistan because it was a convenient channel for incentives.

It had the effect of funding the Taliban because, in case you didn’t know, the Taliban was created by Pakistan’s ISI and had sanctuary in Pakistan.

“The intelligence community assessment has always been accurate; they just disregarded it,” the official told ABC News, speaking about the Biden administration. Among the intelligence that sources said was shared with the administration were claims that some members of Pakistan’s intelligence services, who helped create and organize the Taliban 25 years ago, were supporting the Taliban over the summer. ABC News has seen evidence of Pakistani government ID cards found among deceased fighters, but could not verify their authenticity.

You don’t say! Just like nobody noticed that Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, Pakistan, just down from their national military academy. This absurd situation began to change with the pivot to India in 2017 and away from Pakistan. Pakistan then switched sides to become a Chinese client state. That made the supply line to Afghanistan completely untenable.

And yet despite this, the military held, with lower losses than at any time in the past. The tragedy now overwhelming civilian Afghanistan is the direct result of simple error. As Bill Roggio wrote, they should have withdrawn the qualified civilians a month ago. As every first lieutenant knows: withdraw the rear guard last, not as Biden thought, first.

But that’s all water under the bridge now. Long ago and far away. The immediate lesson to absorb is this: Joe Biden being shellacked by the Taliban conditions the expectations of him being able to hold off China against Taiwan and the Philippines.

Books: Consciousness and the Universe: Quantum Physics, Evolution, Brain & Mind. Is consciousness an epiphenomenal happenstance of this particular universe? Or does the very concept of a universe depend upon its presence? Does consciousness merely perceive reality, or does reality depend upon it? Did consciousness simply emerge as an effect of evolution? Or was it, in some sense, always “out there” in the world?