Ninety-six hours removed from the world changing overnight, and the fallout continues. Going forward, Americans will come to understand more about the consequences from this decision. We are, beyond any doubt, looking at the most catastrophic military blunder our nation has committed in decades. There are other moments being compared to this move. The Fall of Saigon, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and Benghazi, but this feels more like something rooted between the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is widely known that JFK acted against the advice of his ranking staffers with his decisions that nearly flung America into nuclear war. In fact, JFK even denied the support of General Eisenhower, and it wasn’t until the Missile Crisis subsided that he phoned Ike and set up ongoing meetings with him at Camp David to learn from his mistakes. In short, this folly is quite possibly the grandest error a president has ever made politically when it comes to managing, or in Biden’s case, mismanaging the military. We will be dealing with the fallout for many years to come. And, currently America sits in one of the most vulnerable and precarious positions she’s ever been in.
Politically, the administration and Democrats have a tremendous problem. They have three options on the table, like any party/administration has when they commit an error of this proportion. You can investigate it and cast blame on one or multiple individuals to become the fall-guy. You can hope the problem goes away due to the public’s lack of interest. Or, you can ask the leader to resign/impeach him. They’re very much boxed in. The first option is what most administrations choose, as it is typically one that offers the public at least a half-truth, and results in action. We’ve seen this for decades. JFK cast blame on RFK with his previously mentioned blunders. Nixon was impeached for his actions. It was late in Carter’s term with the Hostage Crisis , so the American people decided his fate. Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal resulted in Oliver North’s firing. Clinton was impeached. Bush had his Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, resign following the CIA torture/waterboarding scandal. Obama shoveled a lot of the fallout from Benghazi onto Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bringing about the notorious email scandal. Trump seemed to fire anyone and everyone. And, then you get to Biden.
According to lengthy reports from NYT and WSJ, as well as countless reports through late spring and into the summer, Biden acted alone. In his own words on Monday, August 16, when he addressed the nation, he explained his ownership of this debacle. He doesn’t have someone to cast blame on. There isn’t anyone for him to fire, because he acted against the advice of those surrounding him. He’s on an island.
This takes you to option two. Allow the news cycle to work its course. He doesn’t have much of a chance that this works out. A few reasons why. The press mostly gets frustrated when two things happen. A lack of access, and their own staffers are put in harms way. Today, both of these are occurring. We are four days into the fallout, and Biden has only spoken to the issue once via his prepared remarks, and second via an interview with ABC. He has yet to take any questions from the press pool. This infuriates them. But, what frustrates them more is when their own colleagues are put in danger. Because of the chaos surrounding this senseless decision in Afghanistan, many correspondents are in jeopardy trying to evacuate Afghanistan. This is not only a reckless move by Biden, but it will most certainly keep the temperature very hot when the media pens their stories for each day moving forward. Another thing standing in Biden’s way is the calendar. We are about three weeks out from our nation’s mournful remembrance of 9/11. And, this is our nation’s twentieth anniversary. This will only intensify the spotlight on the withdrawal for at least another three weeks. The Taliban has also set a deadline that all Americans need to be off their soil by that date. There are also countless things that can potentially go wrong even after we finish the evacuation. This will only guarantee the story isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. A huge problem for this administration and Biden.
The third path is resignation or impeachment. Both are obviously things the Democrats want to avoid, but here’s why these may be more likely than you think. Republicans impeached and removed Andrew Johnson after the Civil War. History shows this can happen within one’s own party. We know Democrats want to take advantage of the time they have in power. Their margin of control is incredibly slim, and they were likely on a path to lose at least the House in the 2022-midterms. This is all but a guarantee now. Knowing they haven’t been in a spot with control like this since Obama’s first two years, it’s safe to say the ranking Democrats on Capitol Hill are having these discussions. Forcing Biden to resign may actually be their best out. It makes this process short, and maintains party unity. It furthers the chance the Democrats can pass legislation, and change the narrative. Endless hearings, gridlock in both houses of legislature, and a President on the ropes is an absolute nightmare for the left. They won’t pass any of their agenda, they’ll eventually lose power, and they met set themselves up for disaster in 2024. This is potentially damning for the party. Tough decisions need to be made, and sooner rather than later.
It’s also important to look at the current situation in the House and Senate. Schumer got the bipartisan infrastructure bill over his finish line, but Pelosi held it up. She wanted the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation deal passed simultaneously. Now, both sit in the House potentially DOA.
Legitimately, everything has changed. The psyche of the American citizen needs to understand we have a pre-Afghan pullout world, and a post-Afghan pullout world. We have entered into a new period of American history, and officially closed the book on the last one. The one that went from 9/11/2001 until Sunday. America sits in uncharted waters.
What happens to the roughly 10,000 American citizens in Afghanistan? Do they all safely exit the country? This is an operation of epic proportions considering the only land we control is the airport, and we cannot assist anyone in their endeavors to get there. Every Western Embassy is evacuated and empty following the withdrawal of the French earlier today. Amazingly, we didn’t even inform these allied nations of our looming decision. We left them to fend for themselves. We also have about 30,000 Afghan citizens who assisted America in the war. These people were made a promise. A promise that their safety would be guaranteed, and that they would be granted American citizenship when the crusade ended as gratitude for their services. We are aware the Taliban has established checkpoints throughout the country, and especially in Kabul. We know they have a list, and they are going door to door to find these individuals, among others. How are they to be safely evacuated? How is any group outside America going to trust us the next time we promise them a similar deal. Our reputation is severely tarnished.
We made horrible blunders on this exit as we went about this opposite conventional wisdom. It has been confirmed that we left well over one hundred top-of-the line helicopters in Afghanistan. This is simply there for the Taliban to use as an impromptu air force. It’s also going to be there for the Russians and Chinese to examine and replicate within their military. We left the majority of our bases fully intact. This includes the billions of dollars worth of weaponry and artillery. We essentially didn’t destroy anything on the way out. It’s astonishing.
The exit will eventually be completed. However, the visuals Americans woke up to on Monday morning will be around forever. The horror of watching people so desperate that they would cling to a moving C-17 airplane. The sheer terror of watching three citizens cling to the wheel axles and subsequently fall to their death when the plane brought up their takeoff/landing gear. The reports and pictures proving the Taliban is deciding who gets to journey to the airport, and who gets left behind for punishment. The quotes we’ve heard, like the one from the only female Mayor of an Afghan town saying she expects to be murdered. America did this. Joe Biden overrode the advice of those assigned with the task of providing him with intelligence. Joe Biden caused this.
The fallout when we complete the exit is going to be long lasting. It cannot be stressed enough that we are certainly in the most vulnerable position as a nation since the days immediately following 9/11. First, what would stop any nation, such as China or Russia from advancing their own imperialist claims? It’s now obvious America is all talk, so why would Putin not continue to annex portions of the Crimea. What would stop Xi Jinping from reunification with Taiwan? Either of these two events would send the world further into chaos, but without America displaying resolve to stand by and prevent such actions, what stops either Russia or China from proceeding forward?
What about terrorism? We knew when ISIS was defeated that a new terror cell would rise. Well, the Taliban-controlled land of Afghanistan is absolutely ripe for this now. They will become a nation of state-sponsored terror, just like those of North Korea and Iran. And, they are immediately armed from the gifts we left behind. God knows what this group of thuggish buffoons will do while running a country. We can only imagine the terror plots they’ll dream up and try to execute against innocent Westerners across the world.
What happens to those who don’t escape? What sort of atrocities are we going to be witnessing in the coming months and years? Remember the barbaric acts Al-Qaeda and ISIS committed? Who knows when this group will begin displaying their evil for the rest of us.
China and Russia have already allied themselves with this group. They will aid and assist them in their rise. They’ll work alongside them. It’ll become remarkably clear that Russia and China are two enemies of America that we should immediately stop trade with if, in fact, they do anything to support the rise of the Taliban. We already know both powers have their eyes set on the rare earth minerals in the lands of Afghanistan.
What does this to do America’s reputation globally with our Western Allies? We abandoned them. They fought alongside us like a NATO ally should. And, when we folded up the fight, we left them hanging out there to dry. Who does that? Why would they want to support us going forward?
It is almost unfathomable to think we will not look back on this moment that transpired Sunday as one that truly altered the course of global and American history. We are heading into unknown territory. A new world is upon us, and it is one that hardly resounds optimism.
Joe Biden has displayed two things in crystal-clear fashion this week. One, he acted against the advice of his staff, guaranteeing he remains solely responsible for the decision and fallout. Two, by refusing to publicly take questions, one must wonder about his mental capability to answer questions the American people deserve to know answers to. This shows incompetence, and displays one who shouldn’t be trusted in the White House. It is a good idea for him to step aside and allow Kamala Harris to work for the American people moving forward. It is safe to say she would listen to those around her, and communicate directly with the American public. America at minimum deserves a leader who can do this.
We are all Americans. Regardless of one’s political beliefs, we all should root for this nightmare to be repaired immediately. We need someone at the top who has the capacity to do so.