Government Watch / Instagram / National Security / Politics

Everyone’s Fault But His Own: Biden’s Afghanistan Shame

AMAC Exclusive By: Daniel Roman

Biden

At 11 a.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, August 15, 2021, John Kirby, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs took to a podium to announce that “Kabul is not, right now, in an imminent threat environment.” The exact timing of this statement is important, both because at the moment he made it, Taliban fighters were already driving through the streets of Kabul – images which found their way into the replies to Kirby’s tweet – and because by the time this article is published, Kabul in all probability, will no longer be in an imminent threat environment. As of 5PM on August 15, a few hours after Kirby’s statement, Taliban fighters were already gleefully sharing images of themselves within the Afghan Presidential palace.

Secretary of State Blinken at least admitted that the speed of the Taliban advance “surprised” the administration. But he then proceeded to deny the administration had any responsibility for the disaster—not for the decision the leave Afghanistan, which he blamed on the preceding Administration, not for the bungled way in which the withdrawal was handled, and not for the failure to evacuate more than 10% of the 19,000 Afghans granted special visas for assisting US forces.

In fact, Blinken repeated a familiar line. The Afghan withdrawal was a decision of the previous administration, and that the way the withdrawal occurred was a consequence of the decision of the Trump Administration to sign a deal with the Taliban. Had the Biden Administration not withdrawn on schedule, the Taliban might have resumed the war. (Exactly what the Taliban been doing the last few weeks if not war may be a question beyond Blinken or Kirby’s competences, though to be fair, a war usually is less one-sided than what seems to have been going on.)

It is worth taking on Blinken’s accusations (or justifications?) directly because they appear to be a narrative that will become the administration’s defense of the greatest military and logistical fiasco in US history. Though the administration is right when they say Kabul is not Saigon (though Blinken perhaps would have been better advised to not have repeated that line 11 times in 7 minutes during a Sunday interview), the fact is the South Vietnamese army put up far more of a fight, and the evacuation was, at least in contrast, a well-executed operation involving airlifts to US Navy ships off the coast.

First there is the issue of withdrawal. It is true that Donald Trump ran on promising a withdrawal and worked to carry it out. But a withdrawal did not have to end with a collapse of the Afghan government, and a Taliban takeover did not have to involve a total failure to properly evacuate Americans or allies. Donald Trump made clear what his terms for withdrawal were, and most importantly made them clear to the Taliban. Throughout 2020 the Taliban did not take a single city, and Donald Trump made clear where his redlines were.

Furthermore, the entire basis of any cease-fire or peace agreement is that war will be resumed if one side violates its terms. The attitude Blinken revealed, ie. fear that if the US did not withdraw ahead of the deadline the Taliban would resume the war, indicated that the Taliban did not need the deal, or any deal with the United States to get a US withdrawal. All they had to do was threaten to advance, or as things turned out, actually advance. By justifying the timeline for withdrawal not on the basis of the deal, but on the basis of fear of the Taliban, Blinken and Biden informed the Taliban that the US feared them, and therefore all but told them they were under no obligation to keep the deal or any terms within it. The administration failed the test of negotiation 101.

This is in marked contrast to the Trump Administration, which made clear that the US did not fear inflicting massive damage on the Taliban if the Taliban acted in a way which changed the cost-benefit-analysis. Trump was withdrawing not because he feared the Taliban, but because he had made a promise to the American people and believed it was in America’s interests to leave Afghanistan. Because Trump justified the withdrawal on the basis of America’s interests, it was clear to the Taliban that if they acted in a way which made a continued US presence in Afghanistan more beneficial to US interests than a withdrawal in the eyes of Donald Trump, the US would not leave. Hence, they had every incentive to behave in a way which convinced the previous administration that a withdrawal was compatible with US interests.

What changed under Biden was that the US stopped negotiating. A negotiation involves asking for things in exchange for concessions. But the Taliban could have been forgiven if they had no idea what the Biden administration wanted from them. By Blinken’s own testimony on August 15th, the US asked for nothing from the Taliban. So the Taliban did not even know how they could behave in a manner which would make the US see a withdrawal as in American interests even if they wanted.

That is a critical concession. It is likely the Taliban wanted the US out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible and if the US had asked for the right to not just withdraw unmolested, but also to evacuate 70-100,000 Afghans who had worked with US forces, the Taliban would have agreed. It is not as if the Taliban would have been harmed from doing so. It would have allowed them to take power in a transitional government as they are now, but also it would have avoided opening their rule with bloodshed.

Missed by the Biden Administration officials, so obsessed with denying the reality of their situation that they refused to act to mitigate it, was that the Afghans who worked with America pose a problem for the Taliban. Left alive and remaining in Afghanistan, they have military training and close links which could make them the core of any future resistance. If they are slaughtered, however, the Taliban will open their rule in front of the world media with the mass murder of Afghans who are the focus of international attention. Allowing them to leave for the West is actually the most convenient option for the Taliban – if only the Biden administration could have coordinated a successful evacuation effort.

Negotiations are not about merely talking, which is what it appears is all that occurred in Doha between the Taliban and United States under the Biden administration. They involve looking at the reality of the situation and coming to arrangements which would be beneficial to both sides. Biden is correct that a deal with the Taliban probably could not have saved the Afghan government. That is because the Afghan government would have needed to be able to save itself. If the US was not going to save it, and it could not save itself, then of course the Taliban were not going to concede power. But the Afghan government was not a party to the talks by the choice of the Biden administration. The United States and Taliban could have come to a mutually agreeable deal to allow for an organized US withdrawal, permit the safe emigration of Pro-Western Afghans, and allow the Taliban to avoid a bloodbath at the start of their rule. Biden offered everything and asked for nothing, not even the things the Taliban wanted to give him.

Here lies the true crime of the Biden Afghanistan policy. If defeat truly was inevitable and a Taliban takeover was unstoppable, then the correct course was not to bury one’s head in the sand but to mitigate the harms as best as possible. But the Biden administration seemed determined to deny reality as long as possible. At a July 8th Press Conference Biden insisted that “the Taliban is not the South — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.”

The Biden Administration was so scared of being blamed for a collapse they believed was inevitable that acknowledging it publicly – either by planning for it, actually evacuating Afghans, or negotiation with the Taliban on the basis of a takeover, was unthinkable. As a result, the administration did not evacuate, did not negotiate with the Taliban even on things the Taliban would have wanted to concede, and lied to both the Afghans and American people. When the Afghans saw they had been lied to, they defected, with the Afghan Army melting away. We have yet to see how the American people will feel about an administration which lied to them.

This lying – to the world, to the American people, even to themselves, stands as an appalling act of moral cowardice. To be defeated in Afghanistan is a tragedy, and one which has multiple authors, not least Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney, whose daughter is currently busy serving as Democratic window dressing on the January 6th commission. But the catastrophe which accompanied this withdrawal is entirely on Biden and his team and no one else. They will have the lives of tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands on their hands. It was not inevitable. It would not even have cost them or the United States anything of substance. The Taliban might well have given them our Afghan allies and an orderly withdrawal if they had but asked. All they had was their ego and image, and they traded maintaining both for an extra few weeks for countless lives. They should hang their heads in shame.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

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Robin Walter Boyd
2 months ago

Biden claims to have made the decision for the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan. To be fair, Biden is in no way in charge of anything he says or does. Biden either does and says what he is told to do and say by extremist Progressive agents working for one entity or another that is controlled by George Soros and other Progressive billionaires. The only time Biden says something he was not instructed to say, it is really ridiculous, sometimes racist and always offending to some American citizens. The U.S. has never had such an obvious puppet president as Biden is.

Leonard
2 months ago

When you vote for Idiots especially Biden and Kamala this is what you get. Why don’t we send the entire Biden Cabinet to Afghanistan. He definitely has dementia and follows direction from behind whatever he is told by these socialists. He has been in politics too long and should be impeached for his incompetence.

Scott S.
2 months ago

Bring back Joe Mcarthy!

HocasPocas
2 months ago

They have no idea what shame is. When God was handing out shame they thought he said blame. That’s why they blame everyone for their own actions

Max
2 months ago
Reply to  HocasPocas

They will receive their justice at the God’s Great White Throne and we will be there as witnesses.

Ori Preis
2 months ago

test

Mario Capparuccini
2 months ago

If the dog of a Democrat does number two on my lawn, rest assured that Donald Trump will receive the blame. When a nation turns it’s back on God, He gives that nation over to a depraved leadership. That is where we are now. May God the Father pour out His Spirit upon us that we may repent and turn back to Him.

Hidin' Biden
2 months ago

Ironic how Biden and Cuomo have the same MO after one of their disasters reveals itself by (finally) spilling all over the press and TV

AjB
2 months ago

Hey Joe did you conveniently forget that you had 8 years as V.P. with that other loser and mentor and did nothing but allow the terrorists and the JV team to grow more powerful and larger, plus you were the lone “no” vote when the Osama bin Laden death by lead poisoning was voted on! All anyone as President has to do is ask themselves, “What would Joe O’Biden do, then do the opposite and be 100% right every time!

Kenneth D.
2 months ago

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are nothing more than puppets for the back room anti-America socialists and Islamic terrorist sympathizers who are pulling the strings. Biden has been and continues to be a political parasite who has spent his entire adult life feeding at the public trough like so many others inside the Beltway. He will do whatever he’s told by the establishment and special interest insiders who control both political parties and the bloated bureaucracy that define the current stagnant nation state of America. It has been a sad corruption and decay process that is coming to completion now that the Depression/WWII Generation has passed from the scene.

Mario Capparuccini
2 months ago
Reply to  Kenneth D.

I agree wholeheartedly. This is a well written statement.

Hal
2 months ago

Joe Hidin’ Biden is a curse and hazard to the Constitutional government of the USA. He is becoming a true enemy of this Nation.

HocasPocas
2 months ago
Reply to  Hal

Becoming? He’s been there for a while now

Wanda
2 months ago

Yes, Kabul was the same as the fall of Saigon in 1975…and both of these catastrophies were lead by a damn Democrat President. We were winning in Viet Nam and the north was close to surrendering when LBJ decided that he would no longer allow our planes to bomb the capital of North View Nam. We spent 12 years there and lost thousands of lives for nothing, not to mention leaving all of the helpers to the Viet Congs and most were slaughtered. I saw the same images again in Kabul….thousands of young men and women who died for nothing…the people who helped us trying to get on the planes that were leaving….I call it the fall of Kabul 2021. Two wars that we have been in since WWII and we stuck our tails under and ran…why? Because the rules and regulations coming down from a bunch of pencil pushers. Not only that, if you cannot take the equipment with you….you blow it up….you do not leave it for the enemy to use against you later. America entered two wars whereby they had no desire to really win….just for a bunch of crappers to become rich from the sales of arms and equipment….if America does not intend to go to war and WIN, then we do not need to engage. My dad who served in WWII told me….”It is always a RICH man’s war and a POOR man’s fight”.

Robin
2 months ago
Reply to  Wanda

WELL SAID!!!!

Garye
2 months ago

Think Joe boy was too busy fleecing America and it’s Citizens to pay attention????
Of course it’s NEVER the Useless ,failed, corrupt democrats fault, it’s ALWAYS President Trump’s fault!
What a bunch if gutless,self serving slime these establishment democratvpoliticians are.
( it includes the rinos who supported communist schummers lying Infrastructure bill – SO PATHETIC!

Last edited 2 months ago by Garye
Hal
2 months ago
Reply to  Garye

More than “gutless” …. pure traitorous. Our Constitutional governance is in grave danger going forward.

Antoinette Tschohl
2 months ago

It isn’t just biden’s shame. It is the shame of every American. Not only have we abandoned thousands of people to horrible torture and death, but we have slapped the face every American soldier who fought and suffered over there. May God forgive this country for what it has just done.

Garye
2 months ago

Antoinette- the shame is clearly belongs to joebama and the corrupt democrats!
Too busy ruining America to do the right thing.
I’d go so far as to say they don’t care about people at all,it’s a big lie.
They care ONLY about power and money for themselves.
NEVER give them a pass for FAILING America!

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
2 months ago

Sorry,but you are wrong on that score. The Politicans are to blame. Washingto is rotten to the core. Kyle L.

brianw
2 months ago

The buck stops here, but I’m not taking the blame for this.

John Karkalis
2 months ago
Reply to  brianw

Clever way to get out of a sticky mess, eh?

Robert
2 months ago

As a Marine Corp veteran who served under Reagan, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all the men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last two decades. And much love and respect to the wounded and especially to the families who lost loved ones in this conflict. They were doing what they knew was right for the liberty of others. Your efforts and sacrifices were honorable and did have meaning. Meaning to all real Americans. I have been saying it for years now, to all politicians and military generals, a time is coming when the young men of America will full well realize the feckless nature of the gutless politicians and leaders who send young American men to war to shed their blood and die for what ultimately turns out to be a failure. Not because of troop failures, but due to the dumb asses in charge of navigating such conflicts and their operations. At some point, young men will say no more to enlisting and possibly paying the ultimate sacrifice for political fools.

John Karkalis
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Thank you, Robert.
Your post should be read by all conscientious Americans.
Feckless? Gutless? You are too kind to those leaders.

Tim
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

So true! I agree with everything you wrote. We need to hold their feet to the fire on this one. I only hope the veterans unite as a voting bloc and cast out these feckless cowards.

Robert
2 months ago

As a Marine Corp veteran who served under Reagan, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all the men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last two decades. And much love and respect to the wounded and especially to the families who lost loved ones in this conflict. They were doing what they knew was right for the liberty of others. Your efforts and sacrifices were honorable and did have meaning. Meaning to all real Americans. I have been saying it for years now, to all politicians and military generals, a time is coming when the young men of America will full well realize the feckless nature of the gutless politicians and leaders who send young American men to war to shed their blood and die for what ultimately turns out to be a failure. Not because of troop failures, but due to the dumb asses in charge of navigating such conflicts and their operations. At some point, young men will say go fuck yourself when it comes to enlisting and possibly paying the ultimate sacrifice for political fools.

Judy
2 months ago

Some will know what I mean by this; ‘IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE.’

John Karkalis
2 months ago
Reply to  Judy

Yes Judy, a very blind eye and a master of doublespeak.

David
2 months ago

It looks like the Dems have moved their timetable to destroy America from 4 years to 2. They are not quite confident of their cheat for the 2022 elections so they have to accomplish their goals before the mid terms.

Tim Toroian
2 months ago

Bumble Brain IS in charge. I hope the ding-a-lings who elected him are happy. Thailand has a population of about 19 million, smaller than the number of illegals in this country. Just saying.

Hal
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Toroian

That is what hurts. He was not elected by a “ding-a-ling” majority … he was elected by a dishonest and treasonous bunch of DemocRats by rigging the election.

JOHN
2 months ago

To every family that lost a loved one in wars to defend our Republic since the Bombing of Pearl Harbor until dark day my sincerest condolences! The memory and sacrifice of our men and women including those that gave all was absolutely DISRESPECTED by the TRAITOR in The White house!
HE has just SPIT in the faces of everyone that served and still bear scars of honor.
I am a Veteran of the Vietnam Conflict and all to well remember the hate when I came home. This action eclipses those feelings to me and I am angry beyond words!
What MORE can We The People take from TYRANY?
IS IT TIME?????

John Karkalis
2 months ago
Reply to  JOHN

John, this John and fellow Vietnam veteran (1968-69, Northern I Corps) shares your indignation.
A nation that forgets those who have served is no nation, but rather a collection of pleasure seeking fools.

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