What Joe Biden did to our national security has yet to be fully determined…but we all watched as he gave control of Afghanistan, and control over many American lives, to the Taliban. America’s longest war ended in a stunning surrender.
Seeing the complete weakness of the Biden administration, the Taliban dictated terms to the US and demanded all American forces leave the country by the end of August. Biden and Blinken and Sullivan and other senior administration officials tried to spin one of the worst geopolitical humiliations in US history as the rest of the world saw reports of rapes and murders occurring where the Taliban assured us we would see “moderation” in their takeover.
Taliban leaders, recognizing the chaos which engulfed Kabul, offered to let the US military take control of the city to evacuate Americans and other green card holders. Biden, however, refused to change his plans and thereby restricted any American presence to the Kabul airport, and the entire world watched the calamity which followed.
Here are seven takeaways from the Afghanistan disaster as we try to move beyond the crisis.
ONE. The terrorist threat is back in a big way. Twenty years after 9/11, not only do the Taliban control Afghanistan again, but Al Qaeda still exists and ISIS is showing resurgence. Under Donald Trump’s leadership the US military destroyed the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria and killed many high-profile terrorist leaders. When Biden took office we had not heard a threat from ISIS for years, and a relatively small US contingent in Afghanistan had held the Taliban at bay for more than 18 months without a single American military death. Biden’s chaotic retreat and evacuation have reversed that progress while also threatening Trump’s Abraham Accords. And we evacuated without $85 billion worth of military equipment and hardware which we simply left for ISIS and the Taliban to pick up and use against us.
TWO. The failure of US leadership has emboldened all of our adversaries. North Korea restarted one of its nuclear reactors. Iran is seeking new ways to assert itself all over the Middle East. China is moving into Afghanistan to fill the vacuum the USA left behind, and is threatening Taiwan in ways they never would have tried when we had an active military presence in the area. China rushed to call our “Afghan abandonment” a “lesson for Taiwan” and told the world it was not just a military failure but a failure of the entire American governmental system and way of life. The message is pretty clear: Biden’s huge failure in Afghanistan has reinvigorated our enemies and invited them to challenge us in ways unimaginable up to now.
THREE. Biden’s “national security team” is so dysfunctional it might as well be non-existent. As Kabul was being overrun by the Taliban, Biden was locked away at Camp David and afraid to address the nation. When he finally did, he found blame in everyone but himself. Repeatedly he refused to take questions from reporters, and his lack of leadership caused public statements from his administration to be contradictory, confusing, and conflicting. All this from a man who ran for office by saying it was time to put “adults” back in charge of our government.
FOUR. The US military has been gravely weakened by an administration which puts “wokeness” ahead of winning wars. Immediately after Biden’s inauguration, his new defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, said that climate change would now be a priority in national security. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress he wanted to understand “white rage.” The admiral who was Chief of Naval Operations recommended a book for the Navy which teaches that America is an irredeemably corrupt, evil, and racist nation. Is it any wonder the USA doesn’t know how to win wars today?
FIVE. Biden’s administration is a disaster for our allies around the world. America’s relationships with its allies are at a low point. Biden abandoned Afghanistan in the middle of the night with no coordination among our NATO partners, putting countless lives at risk. Biden did not return calls from Britain’s PM for days on end, and the British Parliament finally voted to hold America’s president “in contempt.”
SIX. Our liberal elitists are more focused on attacking Trump supporters than defeating our enemies. Biden’s Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin right before the Afghan catastrophe telling us that vaccine skeptics and citizens concerned about election integrity were domestic terrorists. Democrats, instead of paying attention to America’s defense needs, stayed busy trying to build the events of January 6th into a way to shame the 74-plus million Americans who voted for Trump. Democrats managed to express mild outrage at Biden’s missteps only when it was far too late to offer any guidance.
SEVEN. Despite Biden’s failed presidency, America remains strong. Biden’s poll numbers today are absolutely dismal, to the point where both Dems and the media have been criticizing him. He has shown not just woeful incompetence, but a complete lack of leadership. Thanks to Donald Trump, we still have a strong military fighting force, but it too needs good leadership. The best thing American voters can do is plan for a transition in 2022 and 2024 to good leadership, and then support it.
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis