“The Afghan withdrawal is one of the sorriest American failures in decades. Its consequences will play out for years, if not decades, as friends and foes recalibrate their views of U. S. political will in general, and Mr. Biden’s in particular.”–Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
I couldn’t agree more with this assessment, and the worst part of it is the President’s deference to the Taliban on how and when U. S. citizens and Afghan allies, all of them, can be guaranteed safe passage after the arbitrary date for exit by the U. S. military on August 31, which, as I write, is still in place. If we do not enforce this guarantee by whatever means necessary, this will top the list of dishonorable acts of an American President in our history.
There is no way to accurately predict where this disaster is headed. But anyone who thinks we will anytime soon return to pre-withdrawal conditions in the region and around the world is either a fool or is completely out of touch with reality. This policy disaster changes the geopolitical game, significantly alters the facts on the ground in the Middle East, emboldens our enemies, and forces allies and foes alike to reconsider every aspect of their relationship with America, its leadership, reliability, and political will. As a result, it is likely that the world will become a more dangerous place, with U. S. leadership and interests challenged everywhere. And as for our thousands of fellow Americans stranded and many more Afghan allies left behind, look for the moral equivalent of the plight of the abandoned Vietnamese “boat people” of the mid 1970s. So spare me the “mission accomplished” victory speech, Mr. Biden. It would be just another lie.
And at the end of the day, as Paul Wolfowitz reminds us in a recent assessment, the “forever war” hasn’t ended, because the enemy always gets a vote on that, as we shall most surely soon see.