Joe Biden now fears the return of the jihadists to Afghanistan
Kunduz is the third provincial capital in three days to have fallen into the hands of the Taliban. About half of Afghanistan is now back under the control of those Islamist militias. Government troops often surrender without a fight; morale is in pieces, corruption is rampant at the top, the impression is that of a pulping of the official armed forces.
The US embassy recommends that their fellow citizens evacuate the country. He must not deceive the order given by Joe Biden to bomb some positions of the Taliban by the B-52s: the president and the Pentagon know that it cannot recapture Afghanistan from the air.
Biden gives no hint of rethinking his decision, announced in April and confirmed in July: the total and definitive withdrawal of US troops will take place on schedule, that is, by the end of this month. That being the case, it is not unlikely to imagine the epilogue. September 11, 2011, the twentieth anniversary, could coincide with the Taliban’s revenge and restoring their power over much of Afghan territory.
When the president decided on the withdrawal, he had a US intelligence report on his desk that said just that: the departure of American and NATO forces would in all likelihood result in a return to Taliban rule within two or three years. Was America’s “longest war” completely useless? But Biden answered his objections with a rhetorical question: “Do you want to risk the lives of your sons and daughters? How many thousands would you like to send more to fight, perhaps to die? And for what? “
Biden had become skeptical about the war in Afghanistan many years ago, certainly when he was Barack Obama’s deputy. He is vainly opposed to pressure from generals who wanted a new surge of troops on that front. The current president can argue, probably rightly, that the phenomenon that marked the Vietnam conflict and was called “mission creep,” that is, the creeping metamorphosis from one mission to another, has also happened in Afghanistan. Initially, almost twenty years ago, the United States and NATO went to fight in Afghanistan not because the Taliban regime stained itself with horrendous abuses against human rights. Oppressed women and religious minorities. They destroyed precious symbols of other religions, such as the millenary statues of Buddhas in the Bamiyan Valley.
Although the list of crimes of the Taliban can extend far beyond, what triggered the military intervention of the Atlantic Alliance was the logistic hospitality and protection to Al Qaeda when Osama Bin Laden prepared the attack on the States. United. The multiple hijackings, the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, the attack on the Pentagon in Washington had been hatched and prepared by the Afghan Al Qaeda base.
Moreover, the Taliban had refused to hand over Bin Laden to the Americans even after committing the massacre of nearly three thousand innocent civilians. Therefore, the invasion of Afghanistan by George W. Bush and his NATO allies had legitimacy and a specific purpose: to punish a terrorist regime that had affected the United States; and eradicate Al Qaeda from its soil. These two goals have been achieved for a decade. The Taliban offered an unconditional surrender as early as 2003. Bin Laden was eliminated in 2011, although he had fled to Pakistan with the protection of the secret services of another Islamic theocracy. In any case, “mission accomplished” could have been said by Barack Obama in 2011 and withdrawn from Afghanistan: this was Biden’s position at the time.
But in the meantime, the “mission creep” had occurred, the creeping enlargement of the original mission. A humanitarian left wing had taken it to transform Afghanistan into a model nation for respect for human rights. For the neoconservative right, it was a piece of a broader geostrategic plan to redesign the equilibrium of the Middle East. They are the ones who are accusing Biden of bankruptcy today.
The president’s criticism for having “lost the war in Afghanistan” comes from these two opposing fronts. The humanitarian left, the same that used to denounce American wars as imperialist operations, now accuses Biden of abandoning the Afghan people to their fate, especially the women who, thanks to the NATO invasion, had the right to education and other parties. Rightwing hawks accuse Biden of retreating from the enemy – ignoring that Donald Trump had already distanced himself from all the imperial wars of the Bush era.