Afghanistan: A Way Out of Biden’s Debacle

Is all lost in Afghanistan? Not necessarily. Here’s how we should proceed in salvaging the situation.

By now, every witting person on earth knows the credibility of the United States has been disasterously damaged by events in Afghanistan. Thousands of American civilians are stranded and being held hostage by radical Islamic terrorists. Tens of thousands of brave Afghan allies are being hunted down and brutally murdered.

President Joe Biden is singularly responsible for this catastrophe. His incoherent press conference on Friday, Aug. 20 was a frightening example of the alternative reality Biden inhabits. He claimed the U.S. went to Afghanistan to destroy al-Qaida, and has done so. Yet less than an hour later, a Pentagon spokesman contradicted the commander in chief. On Sunday, Aug. 22, it got worse. Commenting on the Afghanistan evacuation, Biden said, “Many things could still go wrong.” Wake up, Mr. President. Everything about the evacuation is already going wrong and has been since the outset.

His assurance the Taliban has promised people with U.S. passports are being cleared through their checkpoints was immediately contradicted by the State Department. Belying Biden’s claim the rapid collapse of Afghan security forces was “unexpected,” a leaked “dissent cable” sent in early July from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul accurately forecasted the chaos we are witnessing on television. The president ignored the cable.

Asked in an interview about the damage done to America’s reputation, Biden claimed our credibility around the world is intact. Officials in allied nations across the globe directly refuted his statement, including the U.K. Parliament, which held Biden in contempt, calling his actions “catastrophic” and “shameful.”

Is all lost in Afghanistan? Not necessarily.

Recently, we have been in near constant contact with friends with “boots on the ground” in Afghanistan and other sources. Herein is a summary of their advice on how we should proceed in salvaging the situation:

No. 1: Our most important objective is the safe evacuation of American citizens and our allies from Afghanistan. This cannot be done by a limited number of U.S. troops with an artificial “deadline” of Aug. 31. The Taliban must be told, “We will bring in additional U.S. troops to carry out this mission, and stay as long as necessary. If Taliban, al-Qaida or ISIS terrorists harm anyone we are evacuating, our military will decapitate your leadership.”

No: 2: U.S. military personnel must be authorized to carry out “rescue and recovery Operations” anywhere in Afghanistan. There are nearly a dozen U.S.-built airfields in Afghanistan. One or more of these facilities must be put under U.S. military control. This will allow us to evacuate those we have designated for safe conduct. Further, the additional airfield(s) will provide search and rescue facilities for any downed U.S. airmen.

No. 3: An internal “Afghanistan resistance” has formed in northern Afghanistan. Popular discontent is growing in Kabul and other cities, as evidenced by the marches held last week around the country. The U.S. government must support this movement in ways that will enhance resistance effectiveness.

No. 4: The president must communicate directly with “President” Xi Jinping in Beijing that People’s Republic of China intelligence officers now in Afghanistan must desist or the U.S. government will impose additional economic sanctions on China. The same message must also be delivered to Moscow, Islamabad and Tehran.

No. 5: Immediately lift the “hold” on weapons for which the Saudis, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Japan and Israel have already paid. This will show our allies we are still capable of carrying out a strategic vision for the future.

No. 6: Close the U.S. southern border to prevent terrorists from entering the U.S.

Carrying out these recommendations will be costly. But doing so is essential to save American lives and begin the process of rehabilitating our national legacy.

COPYRIGHT 2021 OLIVER L. NORTH AND DAVID L. GOETSCH

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