by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joe Biden has been wrong about most major foreign-policy questions all of his adult life, but — as a long-time senator and then vice president — didn’t have much power to do anything about it.
That’s no longer the case, and we are now seeing the gut-wrenching consequences in Afghanistan, where Biden rejected the advice of his military and intelligence officials and ignored the clear evidence on the ground, and ordered a calamitous U.S. withdrawal.
Despite the president’s fantastical assurances a little over a month ago that Afghan security forces had the situation well in hand and there’d definitely be no hasty Saigon-style evacuation of the U.S. Embassy, the Afghan government has dissolved, the Taliban control Kabul, and the U.S. Embassy has indeed been hastily evacuated.
In chaotic scenes, Afghans swarmed the tarmac of Kabul International Airport, desperately trying to escape.
Even as the Taliban’s advance accelerated in recent weeks, Biden insisted on staying the course, with his top envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and his press secretary Jen Psaki farcically warning the Taliban that if they took the country by force, they would lack international legitimacy, as if these ruthless Islamists — given to suicide bombings, assassinations, and the brutal oppression of women — care a whit what anyone thinks about them at Turtle Bay or Davos.
The Trump administration set in motion the events that led to the current debacle, with a preposterous “peace deal” with the Taliban. The agreement obligated the U.S. to leave by May of this year, although the Taliban obviously negotiated in bad faith and were in violation of the deal from the beginning. …
Even if Biden insisted on pulling out, there was no reason to do it this heedlessly and incompetently — in the middle of fighting season and a gathering Taliban offensive. …