(AP/VINnews) The collapse of the Afghan government is the biggest foreign policy crisis of Biden’s young presidency, recalling setbacks for past presidents such as the withdrawal from Vietnam and the botched Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. The reverberations of the Taliban’s success were startling, endangering Afghan women and girls, posing new security threats and threatening to undercut global views of America’s reliability.
The evacuation received condemnation at home and abroad, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling the latest developments “bitter, dramatic and awful.” And security officials warned that Afghanistan would soon provide safe harbor for terrorist groups again.
Biden has argued for more than a decade that Afghanistan was a kind of purgatory for the United States. He found it to be corrupt, addicted to America’s largesse and an unreliable partner that should be made to fend for itself. His goal was to protect Americans from terrorist attacks, not building a country, and his aides have pointed to polling — taken before the chaos of the last week — that shows that a majority of Americans favor bringing troops home.
But that political gamble could prove risky as the scenes of fear and violence from Afghanistan are broadcast around the globe, especially if the chaos in Kabul makes “Saigon look like Disney World,” warned Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a veteran who served in Afghanistan.
“The bottom line is that there’s going to be a lot of people that are very let down by the United States of America,” Kinzinger said in an interview. “We will inevitably, inevitably be in conflict again somewhere. How are we going to convince those locals that we’re going to follow through when we’ve abandoned those in Afghanistan?”
REPORTER: “What happens to the billions of dollars worth of weaponry that the US gave Afghanistan? Does the US have a plan for that?”
SULLIVAN: “We don’t have a complete picture—Certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban.” pic.twitter.com/SjIob1EIGY
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 17, 2021