The last train to Clarksville has left the station. There are exactly zero American troops remaining in Afghanistan. Left behind are somewhere between 100 and 250 American citizens who want to get out, along with tens of thousands of Afghans who risked their lives for us.
That’s a failure. The president vowed we would not completely withdraw until every American who wanted to get home got home. Failure.
The president said as recently as early July that an immediate Taliban takeover was not “inevitable,” and that it was in fact “very unlikely.” Intelligence failure? Or candor failure?
Our friends can’t depend on us. Understand, alienating our allies and giving comfort to our enemies is a “foreign policy” that started under Donald Trump. But Biden vowed to break that cycle. Failure.
Let me politely cut some of you off right now. Yes, “We had to get out of Afghanistan.” Yep. “There was bound to be chaos.” Roger. “There is no good time to end a war.” You got that right.
OK. But “how” matters. Failure.
The deadline for withdrawal did not “sneak up on us.” Planning failure.
There were insufficient remaining troops to support secure orderly evacuation. Strategic failure.
We didn’t anticipate the immediate collapse of the Afghan military. Really? Did we fail to anticipate sunrise as well? Failure.
The United States put itself in a position of being dependent on the honor and integrity of the Taliban. I’ll just let that sit there.
Now what? After 20 years, two trillion dollars and 2,461 lost American lives—13 of them very recently—what do we have to show for it?
Osama bin Laden is still dead. That’s it.
Afghanistan is once again a vacuum and a black hole that sucks in roaches. Taliban? Check. ISIS? Yeppers, and this time the Special K version. Uncle Al Qaeda? Or Qaida? I’ll let you select your preferred spelling.
It is absolutely true that we have done a great job of preventing attacks on American soil since 9-11. Now? “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” as they say in the financial industry.
Failure. I will not spin it. Failure.
Politically? Whether it’s fair or not, this will be Biden’s “Jimmy Carter Iran Hostage” freezeframe.
Biden pulled out the old, “The buck stops here,” bromide. Then he passed it more quickly and widely and indiscriminately than a fatty at a 70s frat party. Or so I’m told.
He ran on competence, experience, honesty, integrity, empathy and transparency. In the words of Ted Knight’s character in Caddyshack, “Well…we’re waiting.”
One more cheery note. Hospital “hallways and conference rooms” are now being used as COVID treatment units. In the United States of America. Let’s get this straight. That’s on Trump. That…is his legacy.