by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Talk about a catastrophic success.
The Biden administration wants credit for the Afghanistan evacuation as measured by the sheer number of people it flew out amid a security and humanitarian crisis of its own making.
This is the arsonist bragging about how many fires he has put out.
Those with memories that stretch past a couple of weeks ago will recall the halcyon days when a mass evacuation at a civilian airport exposed to suicide bombers and other attackers wasn’t, according to Joe Biden, even conceivable.
Biden contributed to the collapse of the Afghan military by denying it air cover, gave away Bagram Air Base for no good reason, pulled out U.S. troops before our diplomats and civilians, drastically underestimated the gathering Taliban offensive, and then, caught unawares by the fall of Kabul, scrambled to jury-rig a desperate rescue that shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place.
That the U.S flew more than 115,000 people out of Kabul is a testament to the awesome capabilities of the United States military.
It is not in any way a vindication of President Biden’s exit.
The evacuation itself has been costly. Because we outsourced security outside the airport to the Taliban, our service members were forced to operate in dangerous conditions. A nearly inevitable attack last week killed 13 of them. That’s the loss of more Americans in one day than were killed in action most years in Afghanistan since 2015.
Then, we failed by the most important metric. We left hundreds of Americans behind who wanted to leave, a squalid betrayal that was unfathomable before the Biden team began to try to prepare the public for it a week or so ago.
It’s hard to imagine any prior American president, perhaps with the exception of Jimmy Carter, abandoning Americans behind enemy lines.