In Brief: Blame Biden for U.S. Deaths in Kabul
This deadly fiasco didn’t just happen on Biden’s watch. It happened because of his decisions.
Immediately upon the news that at least 10 American troops were killed by two suicide bombers in Kabul, Charles Lipson weighed in with a profound assessment:
America’s frantic, confused exit from Afghanistan was a humiliating shambles even before today’s terrorist attack. Now, it is something much worse. It is a deadly tragedy, leaving victims dead and injured and trapping thousands of Americans and friendly Afghans in a lethal environment, where terrorists roam free.
There will be a huge political price to pay for this unfolding disaster, and President Biden will pay it. This deadly fiasco didn’t just happen on his watch. It happened because of his decisions, a series of fundamentally bad ones, taken by the President himself.
Biden is, as he himself crows, the president of the United States. The buck stops with him.
Biden himself overruled the generals who wanted to keep a small residual force in Afghanistan to provide intelligence and air support for the Afghan army. Biden himself decided to execute this withdrawal in the middle of the fighting season, not during the winter lull, when Taliban leaders have withdrawn Pakistan. Moreover, we tried to execute the entire withdrawal from a single airport, having abruptly abandoned the major airbase at Bagram, literally in the middle of the night and apparently without arranging for our local partners to replace our troops there. That left the US with only one location to stage its evacuation and provided terrorists a rich target to attack. His perceived weakness and the lack of military resources on the ground invited attacks by our enemies and endangered every American who remained.
Lipson rightly concludes: “The Biden administration will pay a huge price for this slaughter and humiliating defeat. So will our country and our friends abroad.”
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