As untold thousands of Americans wait to be airlifted out of Afghanistan, the chances of a timely and orderly evacuation grow increasingly dim. If the unpredictability of the Taliban weren’t enough to cope with, ISIS (aka the “JV” if you’re Barack Obama) is now compounding the threat facing U.S. citizens and Afghan allies still trapped.
According to the Wall Street Journal, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced on Sunday, “The threat is real. It is acute. It is persistent. And it is something we are focused on with every tool in our arsenal.”
Joe Biden, speaking from the White House, added his two cents: “We know that terrorists may seek to exploit the situation and target innocent Afghans or American troops. We’re maintaining constant vigilance to monitor and disrupt threats from any source.”
That’s cold comfort coming from a guy who still stands by his decision to bug out of Afghanistan, calling the move “rational, logical, and right.” Those were the words he used yesterday in a hastily called press conference, where he rationalized:
But the bottom line is this, folks. Look, at the end of the day, if we didn’t leave Afghanistan now, when do we leave? Another ten years? Another five years? Another year? I’m not about to send your son or your daughter to fight in Afghanistan. I don’t see where that is in our overwhelming interest. And the talk about how our interests are going to be impacted, let me tell you. You’re sitting in Beijing or Moscow. Are you happy we left? [Laughs] They love nothing better for us to continue to be bogged down there, totally occupied with what’s going on. So the idea this is — I think that history is going to record this was the logical, rational and right decision to make. [Emphasis added]
Before asking the highlighting questions, which he has repeated as nauseam, Biden might have done well to read an op-ed in the New York Times by Ryan Crocker, ambassador to Afghanistan under Obama. The piece, which ran on Saturday, addresses Biden’s hypothetical questions:
We have betrayed our promises to interpreters, women and children, and others who are now trapped in an Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban. I fear many will lose their lives because of Mr. Biden’s impatience. We had their backs. Until Mr. Biden decided we didn’t. They will pay for it.
It did not have to be this way. When I left Afghanistan as ambassador in 2012, we had about 85,000 troops in the country. The Taliban controlled none of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals. When President Barack Obama left office there were fewer than 10,000 U.S. troops. And when Mr. Trump departed there were fewer than 5,000. The Taliban still did not hold any major urban area. Now, they hold the entire country. What changed so swiftly and completely? We did. Mr. Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces destroyed an affordable status quo that could have lasted indefinitely. …