Why Joe Biden’s Afghanistan Speech Was a Disaster, by Michael Rubin

While getting out of Afghanistan is a good thing and should have been done long ago, the way it is now being done is an absolute travesty as the US betrays assurances it gave to thousands of Afghan allies. From Michael Rubin at 19fortyfive.com:

President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan. He was unrepentant. “I Do Not Regret My Decision,” he declared.

His speech did little to resolve the concerns a bipartisan array of Americans have for two reasons: First, he relied on a dishonest strawman and, second, the Afghan withdrawal contradicts the reasons he cited to justify his policy.

First, the strawman: “I cannot and will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly in another country’s civil war,” he declared.

But, no one was asking that, and it is not what American troops were doing.

Over the past five years, the Pentagon had reduced the American presence to under 10,000 troops. The presence was a deterrent and led to few American casualties.

Indeed, over that period, far fewer Americans have died in Afghanistan than residents of Baltimore have died in automobile accidents.

Past efforts to nation-building were an expensive and misguided mistake, but not the American military presence which had evolved into a mission set not dissimilar from what the Pentagon maintains in Korea.

Biden, like President Donald Trump before him, also justified his desire to withdrawal in order to “face threats of today…not yesterday’s.”

The problem here is that he accomplishes neither. He is right that terrorism is a worldwide phenomenon. President George W. Bush and NATO allies ordered forces into Afghanistan in order to deny Al Qaeda a safe haven from which they could again attack the American homeland or Europe. What Biden now does in the name of being forward-looking is to create a vacuum into which terrorist groups will again sink root.

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