BlutoSays wrote:Heckuva job, Biden & Company!
The withdrawal from Afghanistan was a failure, yes. Slow to react, bad intel and a comical belief that the enormous resources invested over two decades could not have been squandered so badly. But they had. The Afghan government collapsed with such speed that it cemented the fact that the United States had completely failed in its objectives with casualties in the thousands.
You cry about these casualties because they suit you, but what about others before them? How about Army Staff Sgt. Brian S. Hobbs who died on the 14th of October 2004 in Miam Do, Afghanistan, age 28? How about 1st LT. Derek Hines who died on the 1st of September 2005 in Baylough, Afghanistan, age 25?
I could go on. 2'448 US servicemen, 3'846 US contractors, 66'000 Afghan soldiers and police officers, 50'000-100'000 Afghan civilians. But you focus solely on the last casualties when the true culprits that are responsible for all these deaths were in power when it started and belonged to the Republican party.
No one has been held accountable for the catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal
Who’s to blame for Afghanistan’s tragedy? Everyone.
The US government, it seemed, had failed to anticipate how quickly the Taliban would overthrow the Afghan government and the undoing of the little progress made during two decades of America’s war. “At minimum, the administration should have started looking around and saying, ‘Well, who’s responsible for this?’” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official who had advised four US presidents. “Is it Jake [Sullivan, the national security adviser]? Is it the secretary of defense? Who was responsible for this mess? And yet there was no accountability at all. That produces a culture in which poor ideas are allowed to circulate.”
Now, a year to the day after the fall of the US-backed government in Afghanistan, it’s unclear who, if anyone, has been held accountable.
There was a bureaucratic failure and a strategic failure. Trump had pledged to draw down US forces to zero in Afghanistan, with a May 1, 2021, timeline, but his team had not created a plan for it. As president, he had hollowed out the State Department and left Biden to rebuild the visa program.
But Biden’s team had eight months in office to plot a responsible drawdown. (In April 2021, Biden said the US wouldn’t meet the May deadline, but committed to having all troops out by September 11.)
“Probably the worst thing he said was when he basically blamed it all on Trump,” noted Ryan Crocker, a career ambassador who served twice in Afghanistan. “For the sitting president of the United States to say, ‘Well, it’s all the fault of my predecessor, he forced my hand,’ is not the kind of leadership you want.”
Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump missed opportunities to end the war, as the narrow, time-bound policing action to target al-Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11 became the giant ideological struggle of the war on terrorism.
“In retrospect, I think we really lacked a sound Afghanistan policy for years,” James Warlick, a retired ambassador who worked as deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2012 to 2013, told me. “We realized that our efforts at nation-building couldn’t be successful, at least for years and years to come, and we weren’t prepared to engage with the kind of forces to ensure a military victory, if that was even possible.”
“Afghanistan didn’t fail because of one or two tactical events. It was the overall strategy that was faulty,” said Vali Nasr, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies who advised the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009 and 2011. “So both Republicans and Democrats, Bush and Hillary Clinton, they’re responsible — as well as everybody in the American establishment and American media, for making the war on terror and the fight against the Taliban into this existential thing that it was.
“Everybody’s responsible for not stopping the war after removing the Taliban [in late 2001]. Everybody’s responsible for viewing any kind of a reconciliation with the Taliban as taboo, just like everybody’s responsible for why Afghan people are suffering under sanctions.”
― Frank Zappa
“Fault always lies in the same place: with him weak enough to lay blame.”
― Stephen King