President Biden has a habit of taking victory laps even when there is no apparent victory. He has beat his chest and patted himself on the back for finally ending our loooooong undeclared war in Afghanistan.
It is said that the withdrawal of our last remaining troops in that God-forsaken country triggered a resurgence of the Taliban. Biden had been warned that is exactly what would happen if America led a multi-nation pull out.
Of course, American soldiers have not been in the front line of the battle for a couple years. We had withdrawn from actual fighting to serve as advisors and trainers for the government forces. That withdrawal from the shooting war began under President Trump.
There is great debate over whether America and its allies should have withdrawn at this time – or at all. The American military commanders, who advise Biden, have reportedly opposed the final withdrawal out of fear that the Taliban will take over again – and again provide a sanctuary and launching pad of anti-western terrorism.
That is the story from Washington – and they are sticking to it. But maybe there is a different story – one closer to the truth. A few things have been bothering me about the official reports and the official narrative.
Ever since the western allies had stopped fighting alongside our Afghan friends, the Taliban has been advancing. Even as we were negotiating with the Taliban, they were advancing and terrorizing.
We were led to believe that the negotiations with the Taliban would bring about a peaceful solution to the Afghanistan War. A war the Afghan government has been fighting even longer than America.
And what happened to those negotiations? Suddenly American and our allies are hitting the road. When and why did the negotiations fail? I do not know for sure, but I have a theory. The Taliban were using the negotiation to bide for time to regroup and keep advancing.
We hardly pulled out and the Taliban suddenly controls more than one third of the country — with a likelihood of taking over another third in the near future. This leaves Kabul more of a city-state. And how long can that last?
There is another thing that concerns me – partly because I lost a Marine grandson in Afghanistan and have a young son about to join the Marines. We are leaving a couple thousand Marines to protect the American embassy in Kabul and the nearby airport in case we have to pull them out at the last minute.
After claiming to end the war, Biden ordered airstrikes on Taliban targets. Troops on the ground and air strikes against the enemy does not look like we are out of the war yet. Perhaps we should keep that 20-year hourglass running a bit longer.
Looking at a number of factors, it occurred to me that the Taliban may not have been making progress BECAUSE of our departure, but rather we pulled out BECAUSE the Taliban was advancing. Perhaps our government recognized that we had to get out or face the oncoming Taliban forces on the front line – and that we would likely be defeated in battle unless we imposed a new surge and a new winning strategy – meaning sending in more troops.
Neither option was acceptable to Washington. So, instead of a humiliating military defeat later on, Biden opted for a humiliating retreat now. Although it seems a distinction without a difference when juxtaposed to actually winner the war.
Biden recently met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the situation and demonstrate our solidarity and support. As he goes home with America’s good wishes, Ghani should remember British Prime Minister Nevil Chamberlain returning to London with assurances of “peace in our time.” No, I am not comparing Biden to Hitler, but only that any assurances given by the White House are most likely written on the wind.
We lost the Korean War but at least developed an ally in half the nation. We lost the Vietnam War, but at least we have developed a friendly relationship with that nation in recent years. So friendly that my two sons spent vacation time there
But Afghanistan is going to have a far worst outcome. The Taliban – and their terrorist affiliates — still see their mission as wiping out west civilization. We have not had a major terrorist attack on American assets or the mainland for almost twenty years. But that could change – and the change is taking place over there at this very moment. In the case of Afghanistan, we already lost the war, and we are about to lose the peace.