President Joe Biden’s failure to manage the pullout of a few thousand U.S. military troops from Afghanistan has drawn surprising media scrutiny and scorn, for the fact that it is only the fall of a small country to a similar kind of tyranny already experienced in other places around the world.
In the eyes of PJ Media columnist Richard Hernandez, however, the attention being given to Biden’s Afghanistan failure is justified because it points to larger failures of “the Washington intelligence, diplomatic, and military institutions on which national and Western security depend,” which he wrote is a “strategic crisis of the first order.”
Biden is making the failure worse by refusing to acknowledge it, Fernandez said. He has not fired any top officials over the debacle and has concentrated part of his message by blaming former President Donald Trump for the peace deal with the Taliban.
The president has also claimed that the evacuations would have been “hard and painful” no matter when they took place, which belies the fact that they would not have had to contend with Taliban forces controlling the country if they had evacuated earlier.
The fact that “the administration insists on characterizing obvious ineptitude as resolute excellence underlines, rather than belies, their delusional character,” Hernandez wrote. “But it fools no one except a dwindling number of media hacks. We see you Joe — and so do the Taliban, the NATO allies, and, worst of all, America’s most dangerous foes.”
Biden has now been exposed to the world as weak and inept, which will have ramifications for all of his future moves and decisions. Likely, there won’t be many world leaders of such nations who will see him as competent and strong, much less a threat to their anti-American agenda.
As the New York Post noted, the Taliban is already threatening “consequences” for the U.S. if it tries to extend the evacuation beyond Aug. 31, which would mean leaving U.S. troops in the country past the deadline previously agreed to.
“It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on Aug. 31 they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it, that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News.
A Taliban “victory”
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lamented that the U.S. now has no intelligence in Afghanistan outside of the airport in Kabul.
“That is a victory, not only for the Taliban but for Russia, China and Iran because we can’t see their activities in the region anymore,” the Republican lawmaker said.
“The intelligence community was very clear and had gave a very grim assessment about the conditions on the ground. The Biden administration chose to ignore that intelligence. This decision will have long-term ramifications for the United States’ standing in the world,” McCaul added.
In Hernandez’s view, and one that is shared by many as this debacle unfolds, the answer is to “clean house” before 2024. “The catastrophe, rather than diminishing, has only just begun,” he said. “It will not end when the last qualified person leaves Kabul but when the U.S. political system has found a constitutional way to clean house.”