President Joe Biden said today that the humiliating debacle in Afghanistan was not predicted by anyone as a way to excuse his complete and utter incompetence in organizing the military retreat.
This op-ed in the Wall Street Journal from three months ago proves that he is willfully lying or completely ignorant.
Abandoning the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan is an unforced strategic error, writes William Lloyd Stearman https://t.co/oqCpIpF3RH
— WSJ Editorial Page (@WSJopinion) May 20, 2021
Written by William Lloyd Stearman, who served on the National Security Council under four presidents, the piece pretty much predicts what happened months later.
The location is also strategic, to say the least: Bagram is about 400 miles west of China and about 500 miles east of Iran. This is a good place to have American assets. Keeping the base open could hardly be called a provocation, given it’s been around for years. But manning this base requires a continued military presence in Afghanistan, which would also ensure the country doesn’t return to being a base for terrorists.
That is what happening now, and its happening so quickly that its embarrassing the Biden administration and more importantly, the United States.
And this is all Biden had to do:
All of this is reason to oppose removing all U.S. troops. The better course would be keeping enough troops in the country to maintain Bagram and support for Afghan troops in resisting the Taliban.
There is a good reason why the Taliban wants Americans completely out of Afghanistan. As long as the U.S. keeps troops there and supports the Afghan government, the Taliban won’t prevail, even if they take over much of the country, which would hardly be easy. American troops can provide training and air support without engaging in ground combat. Anything the Taliban agrees to for the purpose of ensuring complete withdrawal, such as breaking ties with al Qaeda in the landmark 2020 agreement, is never to be taken seriously. The Taliban knows it can never be completely successful as long as there are U.S. military personnel in the country.
He’s not the only one. Here’s a letter to Biden in June from Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee:
“I remain incredibly concerned about President Biden’s rushed and unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan. Relinquishing Bagram Air Base is another incredibly short-sighted and reckless decision by President Biden.”
“We have not seen any sort of a counter-terrorism plan for the region from this administration and we still have not been made aware of any agreements for intelligence gathering. The Biden administration needs to be clear with Congress, our Afghan counterparts, and the American people about what the plan is. We cannot risk a terror attack on our homeland because President Biden has decided to play politics with national security.”
There are a lot of disingenuous arguments out there from people who want to pretend that we know for certain the pullout would have been better under a second term from Donald Trump. We don’t know that. But it has been so horrifically bad under Biden, that it’s hard to imagine that Trump could have screwed it up worse than this…