The over/under on when the Taliban and warlords take over Afghanistan after the US leaves is three months. From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:
The U.S. and the rest of the world have to be prepared to live with the winner. They had better start planning how they are going to do that.
The Fourth of July marks U.S. Independence Day and it was ironic that at the beginning of the holiday weekend, on July 2, American troops slunk out of the massive Bagram air base in Afghanistan which they had occupied for twenty years. Concurrently, President Biden had a media conference at which he was asked “Are you worried that the Afghan government might fall? I mean, we are hearing about how the Taliban is taking more and more districts.” The President’s reply was barely coherent which is disturbing on several counts, not the least being the indication that he has no idea what the future holds for Afghanistan.
His rambling response was : “Look, we were in that war for 20 years. Twenty years. And I think — I met with the Afghan government here in the White House, in the Oval. I think they have the capacity to be able to sustain the government. There are going to have to be, down the road, more negotiations, I suspect. But I am — I am concerned that they deal with the internal issues that they have to be able to generate the kind of support they need nationwide to maintain the government.” He was then asked another question about Afghanistan but cut the reporter short, saying “I want to talk about happy things, man.”
Happy things? The man is living in fantasyland. Not only has his country suffered the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, but a Washington Post analysis showed that “through the first five months of 2021, gunfire killed more than 8,100 people in the United States, about 54 lives lost per day” — which is even more deaths than in Afghanistan in the same period, which the New York Times calculated as 2077 (1461 soldiers and police; 616 civilians). Biden should be sitting down with his best and brightest advisers and talking about serious things — such as future U.S. policy concerning Afghanistan.