President Joe Biden’s defense of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was callous, self-serving and deeply unconvincing. Above all, it was beside the point.

The question is no longer whether U.S. troops should have stayed. It’s how the U.S. can minimize the damage caused by this grievously bungled exit.

(1) comment

Lanivan

This scathing op-ed piece is heavy on the scathing and very light on the facts, and I do mean light. Let's look at some of the facts that demonstrate how President Biden is cleaning up the myriad of former president Trump's messes, crises, and incompetence.

Firstly, the writers never mention the fact that polling consistently shows that about 70% of Americans want the US out of Afghanistan. The grossly mis-calculated Republican 20-year "Forever War" must end in a country that has been called the "Graveyard of Empires".

Secondly, it completely ignores the fact that the Biden administration is close to supervising the largest airlift in US history.

President Biden has airlifted 82,300 (as of 8/24) American citizens and SIV allies out in the last 11 days, including 19,000 yesterday - without a single American death. It was always a given that ending the Forever War would be messy, difficult, and treacherous. Of course, looking back in hindsight, President Biden should have allowed and planned for more complications than he did, but he has competently and aggressively met the challenge and succeeded in doing so.

Thirdly, this opinion piece totally ignores the mess former president Trump made when he callously negotiated with the Taliban a year ago - ignoring the Afghan government, even wanting to invite the Taliban leadership to Camp David before he was strongly advised against it! - to leave Afghanistan in April, 2021. By doing so, he gave the Taliban a year to work out deals with rural warlords and Afghan soldiers, and make lists of Afghans who aided Americans, and cement their road back to power.

He even negotiated the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, including the man who is now the leader. They were primed to be organized, armed, and positioned to do vast damage to the country, given the future timetable of April 2021. Just more Trump incompetence and disregard for Afghans and the American soldier and civilians fighting and working there.

Thankfully we now have a competent, intelligent, and shrewd president at the helm.

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