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Has Biden Bungled Afghanistan?

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  • Has Biden Bungled Afghanistan?

    Source: Speed of Taliban Advance Surprises Biden Administration, Dismays U.S. Allies


    Fears spread among countries that worked to prop up the Afghan government, from the fate of their embassy staff to the value of U.S. commitments


    When President Joe Biden this spring announced the decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, his administration expected the Afghan military to defend key cities and perhaps battle the Taliban to a stalemate.

    Before the current Taliban offensive, U.S. officials said they didn’t expect the takeover of any provincial capital until fall at the earliest.

    Instead, a carefully planned strategy carried out by the Taliban has produced swift battlefield advances, allowing insurgents to seize a succession of provincial capitals since Friday. Three more fell Tuesday, bringing the total to nine, including several major cities.

    The latest U.S. intelligence assessment said Kabul could fall to militants in as soon as a month, officials said. U.S. officials now worry that Afghan civilians, soldiers and others will flee the city ahead of a Taliban assault.

    The rapid collapse of regular Afghan forces has dismayed allies, including those that have contributed troops to the U.S.-led coalition, and revived worries about the value of U.S. commitments overseas. India closed a consulate and sent a plane to retrieve its citizens this week. The U.S. military and State Department this week accelerated plans to evacuate the well-staffed American embassy if the situation in Kabul dictates it, U.S. officials said.

    Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar said Tuesday the Taliban offensive violates an agreement it reached with the U.S. last year that set the stage for the American withdrawal. He urged the U.S. and others to respond with military force and sanctions.

    Mr. Biden appears to be sticking to the plan to withdraw all forces by Sept. 1. “I do not regret my decision.” he told reporters Tuesday.

    Some allies, foreign policy specialists and critics of the Biden policy fear that Afghanistan’s chaos will open the door for extremist groups to again flourish there and provide an opportunity for China and Russia to expand their influence.

    Mr. Biden “knows from long experience that America’s actions abroad matter, but he is willingly ignoring the far-reaching consequences of America’s withdrawal in Afghanistan,” said Bradley Bowman, an Afghanistan veteran and senior director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Center on Military and Political Power, a hawkish think tank in Washington.

    “We can expect Chinese and Russia diplomats to ramp up with new credibility a whisper campaign in capitals around the world that Washington is an unreliable partner who will abandon its friends sooner or later,” he said.

    The Biden administration has said that after two decades in Afghanistan, the U.S. has expended enough money and lives there, and that U.S. priorities are shifting to rebuilding at home and dealing with China and Russia.

    The administration said it aimed to prevent the emergence of new terrorist threats by maintaining warplanes and counterterrorism capabilities at bases in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere outside of Afghanistan. Mr. Biden has pledged diplomatic, financial and other assistance to the Afghan government.

    “Afghan leaders have to come together,” Mr. Biden said Tuesday. “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”

    Others in the administration challenged the notion that a small U.S. force of several thousand could have stalled or stopped the Taliban advance.

    The Taliban’s swift takeover of swaths of Afghanistan, plotted for years, hinged on staging forces around the country ready to move on provincial capitals as soon as the U.S.-led coalition announced its exit, according to Pentagon officials.

    After May 1, when the U.S. withdrawal began, those Taliban forces that had been lying in wait began fighting Afghan forces and intimidating local leaders in an effort to control district centers, the nation’s basic administrative units. In April, the Taliban controlled 73 districts- out of 421 nationwide. By August, insurgents controlled 222 and were contesting another 114.

    With the districts in their hands, the Taliban surrounded many provincial capitals and began tightening the noose, the U.S. officials said. Among the major centers that have fallen since Friday’s offensive is the northern city of Kunduz. Others appeared vulnerable to collapse.


    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    This is beginning to make the rapid pull out from Vietnam look like a textbook perfect example of doing it right.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

  • #2
    You can tell by his statement "I don't regret my decison".
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      You can tell by his statement "I don't regret my decison".
      That is an admission.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        This is beginning to make the rapid pull out from Vietnam look like a textbook perfect example of doing it right.
        I've been expecting the withdrawal from Afghanistan to look like the withdrawal from Vietnam all along. It was just a question of when it would happen.

        The only alternative I see is to stay there forever, which seems untenable.

        Comment


        • #5
          He is basically just wasting all of the time and lives the USA put into Afghanistan over the prevailing years.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Stoic View Post

            I've been expecting the withdrawal from Afghanistan to look like the withdrawal from Vietnam all along. It was just a question of when it would happen.

            The only alternative I see is to stay there forever, which seems untenable.
            I do not understand why Republicans are upset. Isn't this exactly what Trump wanted to do? It seems that Biden is merely putting into operation a plan that Trump set in motion.

            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
              I do not understand why Republicans are upset.
              I don't understand why you single out Republicans. Not all who served there were Republicans.

              Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal

              Isn't this exactly what Trump wanted to do?
              No.

              It seems that Biden is merely putting into operation a plan that Trump set in motion.
              It may appear that way to the terribly uninformed.
              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                I do not understand why Republicans are upset. Isn't this exactly what Trump wanted to do? It seems that Biden is merely putting into operation a plan that Trump set in motion.
                He's doing what the democrats claimed they wanted to stop Trump for:

                Source: https://theintercept.com/2020/07/02/house-democrats-working-with-liz-cheney-restrict-trumps-planned-withdrawal-of-troops-from-afghanistan-and-germany/

                The imposed conditions are by no means trivial: for these troop reductions from Afghanistan to be allowed, the Defense Department must be able to certify, among other things, that leaving Afghanistan “will not increase the risk for the expansion of existing or formation of new terrorist safe havens inside Afghanistan” and “will not compromise or otherwise negatively affect the ongoing United States counter terrorism mission against the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and associated forces.”

                © Copyright Original Source

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  It may appear that way to the terribly uninformed.
                  I think Democrats and the media have been quietly floating the idea that Joe is just following President Trump's timetable so that Trump would get the blame if things went bad.
                  Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                  But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                  Than a fool in the eyes of God


                  From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                    This is beginning to make the rapid pull out from Vietnam look like a textbook perfect example of doing it right.
                    We're long past the time to pull out. No one said it would be painless.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                      I've been expecting the withdrawal from Afghanistan to look like the withdrawal from Vietnam all along. It was just a question of when it would happen.

                      The only alternative I see is to stay there forever, which seems untenable.
                      Yup. In hindsight, the US probably never should have gone in, but we didn't really know that at the time. But we learned soon after that we had no bone to pick with the Taliban so we shouldn't be fighting with them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        Source: Speed of Taliban Advance Surprises Biden Administration, Dismays U.S. Allies


                        Fears spread among countries that worked to prop up the Afghan government, from the fate of their embassy staff to the value of U.S. commitments


                        When President Joe Biden this spring announced the decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, his administration expected the Afghan military to defend key cities and perhaps battle the Taliban to a stalemate.

                        Before the current Taliban offensive, U.S. officials said they didn’t expect the takeover of any provincial capital until fall at the earliest.

                        Instead, a carefully planned strategy carried out by the Taliban has produced swift battlefield advances, allowing insurgents to seize a succession of provincial capitals since Friday. Three more fell Tuesday, bringing the total to nine, including several major cities.

                        The latest U.S. intelligence assessment said Kabul could fall to militants in as soon as a month, officials said. U.S. officials now worry that Afghan civilians, soldiers and others will flee the city ahead of a Taliban assault.

                        The rapid collapse of regular Afghan forces has dismayed allies, including those that have contributed troops to the U.S.-led coalition, and revived worries about the value of U.S. commitments overseas. India closed a consulate and sent a plane to retrieve its citizens this week. The U.S. military and State Department this week accelerated plans to evacuate the well-staffed American embassy if the situation in Kabul dictates it, U.S. officials said.

                        Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar said Tuesday the Taliban offensive violates an agreement it reached with the U.S. last year that set the stage for the American withdrawal. He urged the U.S. and others to respond with military force and sanctions.

                        Mr. Biden appears to be sticking to the plan to withdraw all forces by Sept. 1. “I do not regret my decision.” he told reporters Tuesday.

                        Some allies, foreign policy specialists and critics of the Biden policy fear that Afghanistan’s chaos will open the door for extremist groups to again flourish there and provide an opportunity for China and Russia to expand their influence.

                        Mr. Biden “knows from long experience that America’s actions abroad matter, but he is willingly ignoring the far-reaching consequences of America’s withdrawal in Afghanistan,” said Bradley Bowman, an Afghanistan veteran and senior director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Center on Military and Political Power, a hawkish think tank in Washington.

                        “We can expect Chinese and Russia diplomats to ramp up with new credibility a whisper campaign in capitals around the world that Washington is an unreliable partner who will abandon its friends sooner or later,” he said.

                        The Biden administration has said that after two decades in Afghanistan, the U.S. has expended enough money and lives there, and that U.S. priorities are shifting to rebuilding at home and dealing with China and Russia.

                        The administration said it aimed to prevent the emergence of new terrorist threats by maintaining warplanes and counterterrorism capabilities at bases in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere outside of Afghanistan. Mr. Biden has pledged diplomatic, financial and other assistance to the Afghan government.

                        “Afghan leaders have to come together,” Mr. Biden said Tuesday. “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”

                        Others in the administration challenged the notion that a small U.S. force of several thousand could have stalled or stopped the Taliban advance.

                        The Taliban’s swift takeover of swaths of Afghanistan, plotted for years, hinged on staging forces around the country ready to move on provincial capitals as soon as the U.S.-led coalition announced its exit, according to Pentagon officials.

                        After May 1, when the U.S. withdrawal began, those Taliban forces that had been lying in wait began fighting Afghan forces and intimidating local leaders in an effort to control district centers, the nation’s basic administrative units. In April, the Taliban controlled 73 districts- out of 421 nationwide. By August, insurgents controlled 222 and were contesting another 114.

                        With the districts in their hands, the Taliban surrounded many provincial capitals and began tightening the noose, the U.S. officials said. Among the major centers that have fallen since Friday’s offensive is the northern city of Kunduz. Others appeared vulnerable to collapse.


                        Source

                        © Copyright Original Source



                        This is beginning to make the rapid pull out from Vietnam look like a textbook perfect example of doing it right.
                        Couldn't. Care. Less. Never should have been there, and the sooner we got out and stopped sacrificing our young men and women on the altar of the Military Industrial Complex, the better. Let the Afghanis and other local governments deal with it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                          He is basically just wasting all of the time and lives the USA put into Afghanistan over the prevailing years.
                          No, continuing to stay there was what wasted the time and lives. Withdrawing doesn't waste anything other than the feelings of the warmongering chickenhawks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                            I don't understand why you single out Republicans. Not all who served there were Republicans.

                            Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal



                            No.



                            It may appear that way to the terribly uninformed.
                            I am not referring to the men and women of the military but to the criticisms of Biden implementing a policy that was first proposed by Trump. From the NYT https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/11/u...fghan-war.html

                            Fortunately for Mr. Biden, many Republicans in Congress have turned against foreign military adventures and supported a full exit from Afghanistan, to which President Donald J. Trump first committed last year when he struck a deal with the Taliban. Under the agreement, the group halted its attacks on U.S. forces and began peace talks with the Afghan government.

                            Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden were in sync with public opinion. Polls have shown for years that a plurality of Americans support withdrawing from Afghanistan, with a majority supporting either a full exit or a smaller U.S. presence.

                            But as the U.S.-backed Afghan government in Kabul appears more imperiled, some prominent Republicans are increasing their criticism of Mr. Biden.

                            “Reality was clear to everyone but the very top of the Biden administration,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, said in remarks on Monday on the Senate floor, as he noted prior warnings that the Taliban might quickly overwhelm the Afghan government’s security forces. “From their bizarre choice of a symbolic Sept. 11th deadline to the absence of any concrete plan, the administration’s decision appears to have rested on wishful thinking and not much else.”

                            “No one should pretend they’re surprised the Taliban is winning now that we abandoned our Afghan partners,” Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, said in a statement on Tuesday.

                            But Mr. Sasse also nodded to the complicated political dynamic in which Mr. Biden is delivering on a promise made by Mr. Trump.


                            “Our troops served America and our allies admirably, but the last administration and the present administration chose to give up the fight,” Mr. Sasse said.

                            It may be a consolation to Biden administration officials that Mr. Trump is unlikely to join in the attacks. The former president, who made U.S. troop withdrawals a key campaign theme in the 2020 election, pressed his generals in vain to accelerate the American exit.

                            And Mr. Trump reiterated his support for leaving Afghanistan as recently as April, when he attacked Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, in a statement as a “warmongering fool” who “wants to stay in the Middle East and Afghanistan for another 19 years, but doesn’t consider the big picture — Russia and China!”

                            “If Trump is the Republican nominee again, I think it would be hard for him to criticize Biden for executing a plan that Trump put into motion,” said Richard Fontaine, the chief executive of the Center for a New American Security and a former foreign policy adviser to the hawkish Republican senator John McCain.

                            “Trump didn’t just open the door” to a withdrawal, Mr. Fontaine added. “What he did was force the issue in a way that it hadn’t been forced before.”

                            But Mr. Fontaine, who opposes the American troop withdrawal, said that major political and security risks remained for Mr. Biden. He argued that domestic support for leaving Afghanistan had never been intense, coming nowhere near the mass demonstrations opposing the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

                            And he said that the possibility of a Taliban takeover followed by a return to the country of the group’s longtime Qaeda allies would be a huge liability for Mr. Biden.

                            “Polls show that a majority of Americans want to leave Afghanistan,” Mr. Fontaine said. “But they also show that if you ask Americans about their foreign policy or national security objectives, they will almost always rank preventing terrorist attacks on the United States as No. 1 or 2, and they will rank extracting America from military operations overseas far below that.”

                            Mr. Trump’s top lieutenants, who frequently lead political attacks on Mr. Biden, are similarly constrained in their ability to turn events in Afghanistan against him.

                            Mike Pompeo, who as secretary of state attended the signing ceremony in Qatar of Mr. Trump’s deal with Taliban leaders, has repeatedly attacked the Biden administration as weak on foreign policy.

                            In an appearance this week on Fox News, however, Mr. Pompeo — who is contemplating a 2024 presidential bid — called the troop withdrawal “the right thing to do.”

                            In language that closely echoed Mr. Biden’s recent remarks, he added: “This is now the Afghans’ fight.”


                            "It ain't necessarily so
                            The things that you're liable
                            To read in the Bible
                            It ain't necessarily so
                            ."

                            Sportin' Life
                            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gondwanaland View Post

                              No, continuing to stay there was what wasted the time and lives. Withdrawing doesn't waste anything other than the feelings of the warmongering chickenhawks.
                              One might opine that going into Afghanistan in the first place and in the manner in which it was done has wasted money, time and lives [including those of thousands of Afghans]. Mr Bush and his administration did not read their history books and did not seem aware of the radicalism prevalent among some Muslims.

                              I am minded of an interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, given in 1998, and this particular part of the exchange. https://theaustrianeconomists.wordpr...he-mujahideen/


                              Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

                              Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

                              Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

                              Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries

                              Given that the events of the 1980s in Afghanistan would attract young fighters from other Muslim countries and that Islamic terrorist groups such as Daesh and Al Qaeda would go on to recruit radicalised young Muslims from across the world his dismissive remark looks remarkably nave and short-sighted..
                              "It ain't necessarily so
                              The things that you're liable
                              To read in the Bible
                              It ain't necessarily so
                              ."

                              Sportin' Life
                              Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                              Comment

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