That wouldn’t be a problem – if he’d gotten a second term, he could have wiped his ass with the withdrawl agreement any time he felt that the Constitution was insufficiently soft and absorbent.
I don’t know enough about the situation to place blame, but it seems horrible, Knowing Trump however, I strongly suspect this is just another one of his messes that he put in place. I wish and pray that God gives Biden wisdom to be able to carefully disarm the trump booby traps he left behind to avoid such fallout.
It is in no way an excusing of the cackhanded way in which the US left Afghanistan under Biden to note that none of the four administrations that have overseen the US war in Afghanistan have been able to present a clear strategy either for establishing a stable government or exiting the country without leaving it a chaotic mess. Certainly Trump cannot point to anything he would have done better, but neither Obama nor Bush Jr managed to come up with a better plan either.
There is a lot Biden (and the US’s allies in this conflict) could have done better, particularly with regard to the evacuation of translators and other locals who were key to the war efforts there and who are now left under threat of violent death by our withdrawal. Again, the US (and its Western allies) have a long history of abandoning such people in various conflicts that predates Biden and Trump, but that only means that, this time, we should have fucking known better. And there is no excuse for not doing so.
But Trump, who released 5000 prisoners under his watch including Mullah Baradar and lauded US war criminals, still doesn’t have any grounds for criticizing his successor. He has more than enough of his share of disgrace to deal with.
TL;DR: The Biden administration handled the Afghanistan withdrawal very badly, but Trump should STFU regardless.
First in line? Since the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (as amended) after going through the VP, Speaker of the House, and President Pro Tempore of the Senate works its way through the cabinet, then quits – after that it’s chaos all the way down – he’s nowhere near the list.
I mean, even the Q-heads have him as President in Sekrit already.
Isn’t the new ruler of Afghanistan someone Trump released from prison back in 2018, and the same person with whom Mike Pompeo cosigned the Doha agreement?
Why, yes! Yes, it is. So… Biden was following through on Trump’s initiative.
Which doesn’t mean shit, to be honest. We should be out of there. But, to the thread’s point, the new AFG leader is the guy Trump got out of jail and is the same guy who cosigned the Doha agreement with Pompeo, so not to sure what TFG’s complaint is… ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Also, one month ago:
There needs to be some expression that goes way, way, way beyond “pot calling the kettle black” to describe Trump criticizing Biden. I don’t know what such an expression would be.
Trumpocrisy. It’s what he does, he did exactly the same thing to Obama, except chronologically reversed (tweet-slam Obama for doing X, then turning around and doing X-squared himself, versus Trump doing something, then turning around and slamming Biden for something similar).
I’d say pulling the plank out of his own eye before pulling the splinter out of someone else’s, but the GOP has no planks but Trumpism.
Trump isn’t president any more; his random internet musings shouldn’t be considered any more newsworthy than the random musings of other idiots on the internet.
If Trump were still president, his shear manliness would have cowed the Taliban into forming a coalition government that recognized human rights, and and the promise of a Trump resort in downtown Kabul would have guaranteed prosperity for its citizens. But with Sleepy Joe in the whitehouse and Trump not reinstated as promised thanks to Anitfa interference (its not a coincidence that Kabul fell just days after Lendell’s presentation was hacked) the Taliban realized that America was doomed and took advantage of the lack of leadership.
I think Biden has mishandled the evacuation, and does deserve to get dinged for it. I’d be interested to know what Biden knew and when he knew it. I posted in the other thread about how, literally within the last few days, the Washington Post has done reporting that shows why most of these provincial capitals fell without a shot fired. Apparently after Trump signed the Doha Agreement in 2020, the Taliban started reaching out to local leaders of the Afghan National Government and offering them cash payments if they agreed to basically stand down and turn over their weapons. Many of them took the offers. The Afghan National Government, would report these as “local cease fires.”
They obviously were not local cease fires, they were local surrenders (paid for by cash to corrupt local leaders.) In a given district, when enough local leaders had signed up for these deals, the Taliban would go to district leaders and basically say “hey, we’ve already got most of the guys under you, do you really want to fight us now, or just take the same deal?” The district leaders started taking these deals as well. Then rinse repeat up to the provincial governor area. There was one provincial governor who was actually arrested by the Afghan National Government basically as he drove away with the pile of cash the Taliban had given him to surrender.
This has been a process ongoing for over six months. Considering the Washington Post was able to get local officials to talk about it (the actual people who took the cash payments) within a few days, I have to think or at least hope that our intelligence knew to some degree this was going on. Maybe they did not know, that’s why I said I’d be interested in knowing what Biden knew and when.
My hunch, and I have no evidence to support it, is Biden knew this was happening, and concluded the government was going to fall. However I think is intelligence and military analysts probably told him that while that was going to happen, there were enough soldiers and anti-Taliban forces in and around Kabul that it’d be a 90-180 day process with actual fighting before Kabul itself fell. This would give Biden time to get people out.
That’s the part that obviously wasn’t accurate. It’s possible we literally knew nothing, and Biden was being honest when he said the government wouldn’t fall, but my suspicion is he had to have known about all these local commanders / political leaders taking bribes from the Taliban to surrender their posts, and had to have known that meant the Ghani government wasn’t long for this world. If anything the fact that the Taliban, after 20 years of fighting was so easily able to just buy the country up from the National Government’s military and political leaders, probably should have reinforced in Biden’s mind that we just needed to get out of there.
Now the political trouble for Biden, is if he knew all this 6 months ago, he was somewhat politically bound to act as though the government was going to continue functioning, because if he admitted he knew it was going to fail, there might have been stronger political resistance to him going through with the withdrawal. So in a sense if he did know he couldn’t have prepared six months ago because that would have signaled he expected the government was going to collapse (which is what he was saying wasn’t going to happen.) Now even still, I think if he knew, he should’ve prepared as much as is possible, and he probably should have just been honest that “intelligence suggests there is significant corruption at the district and provincial level with many local leaders switching allegiance to the Taliban, so we are preparing for the possibility of a mass evacuation.” I think he could have done that six months ago.
Now at the end of the day, I do not think there is a significant political hit here. Fox News needs to fill its air time with complaints about Biden, this will fulfill that goal for them for awhile, but likely it still won’t push off their “favorite hits” of people crying about Critical Race Theory, cancel culture, and defund the police because those things resonate more with their angry white viewers than stuff about Afghanistan (where the message is muddled because Trump spent 4 years saying Afghanistan was a disaster we needed out of.) But I also just fundamentally think Americans don’t vote over foreign policy, and they don’t vote over Afghanistan.
Read an interesting analysis that said that Biden, after watching Obama get completely rolled by the military regarding the Afghanistan question in 2009, decided that he needed to go this route as to assert his independence from both the military and Obama.
Yeah, so it’s interesting because some of the same media outlets that are criticizing Biden now, were actually lauding him for the decision to withdraw. The formula followed during both the Obama and Trump administrations involved the President wanting to withdraw, and essentially being talked out of it by the military. In Trump’s case they ended up keeping him from committing to a withdrawal for the first three years of his Presidency, and even after he had signed an agreement to withdrawal, they were able to get him to slow walk it at the end.
Biden comes in, meets with the military and they tell him all the reasons he shouldn’t withdraw. He says essentially “thanks, but my decision is to withdraw.” The President does not have to take the advice of his top military leaders, he is the Constitutional Commander in Chief and his authority is absolute when it comes to military decision making, Biden was in my opinion right to assert this power over the entrenched military brass.
Withdrawing was an inevitability and should have been done long ago. How we withdrew is where the problem lies. Anyone currently saying we shouldn’t have withdrawn at all is ignoring the realpolitik of the situation.
After 20 years of fighting, where did the Taliban get all the money for the bribes?
They run the world’s largest opium smuggling operation + likely they get money from Pakistan still.
Biden was?? You mean trump. trump ordered and started the unilateral withdrawal. Biden inherited the mess.
Bush’s adventurism killed any chance we had of succeeding in building a semi-stable Afghanistan. Trump’s isolation killed any chance of avoiding a catastrophic collapse. Biden should have pushed back on what his predecessor did - I criticize him for that. But it’s hardly all his fault. In some regards, he’s just revealing the rot that’s always been there
“The point here is how Biden executed this exit strategy. The administration said it would take at least 18 months for the Taliban take control of the country. They were wrong. Biden reportedly has said for months that he didn’t want images of a helicopter rescuing American diplomats — a scene that would stir memories of US personnel being evacuated from Saigon in a humiliating end to the Vietnam war — yet that’s exactly what happened. The administration promised that the US would obviously protect interpreters and others who helped the war effort since they will be Taliban targets. They are in danger now.”
"And in a comment that will rank up there with former president George W. Bush’s “mission accomplished” banner, Biden assured Americans just five weeks ago that “The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
That’s probably going to sting, at least in 2022, though I’m not sure it’ll be as big an issue as this op-ed writer seems to think. At least we won’t be pouring more $$$ and lives into a country whose citizens and corrupt leaders don’t appear to have a big problem with being ruled by the Taliban.