The Biden administration admitted a miscalculation in withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan. The decision he took without making the necessary provisions now puts world security at risk, leaving millions of victims who today suffer from the war that the United States decided to abandon. Specialists warn that America could suffer new terrorist attacks in the short term.
The idea of withdrawing troops was not bad because it was bound to happen eventually; but the way the plan was implemented is what destroyed confidence in the Biden-Harris administration and generated a crisis in the Middle East.
While the original intent was to capture or kill Osama bin Laden for the September 11, 2001, attacks, the American military fight and presence in Afghanistan fostered relations with Afghans, allowed, in part, the development of that country and opened the door for women to assume a greater role in a society that had vetoed them. Overnight, however, everything changed, the troops left the country and with them perhaps the gains that had been made.
American military men and women who fought in Afghanistan and who supported the idea of withdrawing the troops condemn Biden for the way he did things and the serious consequences of his “miscalculation”. Now, intelligence officials predict that if action is not taken against emboldened Taliban, the U.S. could suffer new terrorist attacks in the next 12 months.
“I fear for the safety of all of those who helped us,” David Grantham, an American war veteran who served as a U.S. Air Force counterintelligence officer in Afghanistan in 2006 and in Iraq that same year, told El American. Grantham also authored the book Consequences: An Intelligence Officer’s War.
“We worked closely with local Afghans to develop sensitive information to protect American forces against attacks and to locate and root out Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters,” he said.
Joe Biden said there was no other choice about the way you withdrew the troops. What’s your take on this?
Biden was right in that we had to go at some point. He was right that our mission had expanded beyond its original intent —we call that mission “creep.” We have been at war for 20 years, which we see now had little change in the outcome. He was correct.
But his execution of the plan left to him was a catastrophe. He is not being honest when he said he had no choice. The Trump administration drew down troops over a year with minimal loss of life and threatened the Taliban with repercussions if they crossed over certain lines.
Biden simply left without any plans, conditions, or otherwise. He admitted the situation went quicker than he had anticipated but he is not being honest about how he “had no choice” to proceed the way he did. Reminds of me of the Obama administration in Cuba where they offered virtually no conditions, no requirements, simply reestablished relations without any real expectations of change. And we see how that has worked out.
Biden also blamed Donald Trump because he says he implemented his predecessor’s plan. Is this Trump’s fault?
That’s completely untrue. Biden has shown, whether Trump’s border policy, pipeline policy, and others, that he will completely change a previous plan that he didn’t like. What we know is Biden agreed with pulling out troops. What I suspect is that Biden thought Trump would receive blame for anticipated failures and was completely blindsided by this unanticipated failure
Why was it a mistake to withdraw troops the way he did?
The drawdown needed to happen and would probably have been rough, regardless. But why we drew down force in summer ––the climax of fighting season–– and not in the winter when Taliban generally hibernate will be a big question going forward. Trump also proposed a May departure, so this summer leave plan appears bad on both administrations
What is the worst aspect of what is happening?
The fact that there was surprisingly little violence amid the takeover and the speed at which it was executed tells me the Taliban had plenty of provincial leaders in their pocket, as it were, or had negotiated their stand down prior to their invasion.
This was coordinated and likely something similar to Pablo Escobar who offered “plata or plomo” take the silver (the bribe) or take the lead (the bullet). The fact that the intelligence community didn’t know these circumstances or that the Biden administration ignored their warnings that the Afghan leadership could not be trusted is perhaps the greatest failure in planning I’ve seen in my lifetime.
What do you think will happen now?
The Taliban will present themselves more as statesmen than they have before – they already called their pending government “inclusive.” They will rush to receive recognition by legitimate powers and criminal states like Venezuela and Cuba.
Once that happens, they will export their terrorism, cement links with global terrorist organizations, and we will likely see an uptick in attacks in those regions nearest Afghanistan within 3 months, to include against Iran. Within 9 months, we may see violence or attempted attacks by inspired radicals or those directly linked to the Taliban in Europe and Africa.
If the free world doesn’t respond with strength to those attacks, we may see some here in the United States within 9-12 months. Keep this in mind: On the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, Afghanistan may appear just as it did then…as if nothing happened. That’s hard to stomach.