by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Biden has lost the trust of the military, our allies — and the American people. In April, the president promised that troops would come home from Afghanistan “responsibly, deliberately, and safely,” downplaying any risk associated with withdrawal.
Today, he says the “evacuation of thousands of people from Kabul was going to be hard and painful no matter when it started, when we began.”
After a Kabul airport attack that killed 13 American servicemen, at least 90 Afghans, Biden has done nothing but deflect responsibility for the biggest foreign policy blunder in decades.
Even as the president was telling Americans that Kabul was unlikely to fall in July, intelligence reports were informing him that situation was precarious. As the New York Times reports, American intelligence were skeptical that Afghan security forces would resist an onslaught of the Taliban, or that the American-allied government could hold on to Kabul.
None of this stopped Biden from abandoning Bagram airbase and refusing to set military safe zones and retrieve stranded Afghan allies or Americans — of which there are probably a thousand left. His disastrous decisions created the bottleneck into the Kabul airport that put our troops in a precarious position and left hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans and green-card holders stranded.
How can the troops trust Biden now?
During his press conference after the Kabul airport attack, Biden attempted to create the impression that critics of his botched withdrawal were questioning the competence and bravery of American soldiers rather than the leaders who failed them. When Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, posted video demanding accountability from our military leaders for putting his comrades in needless danger, he was relieved of his duties. As of this writing, however, not a single leader who oversaw the debacle in Afghanistan has resigned or even taken responsibility. In fact, the administration continues to claim the withdrawal is a success.