In what is being described as worse than America’s humiliating evacuation from Saigon in 1975, the haphazard Afghanistan withdrawal is eroding the confidence of international allies that his administration is capable of fulfilling his foreign policy promises.
British MP Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Defense Committee in the British Parliament, mocked Biden’s “America is back” foreign policy.
“Whatever happened to ‘America is back’?” Ellwood told the Washington Post.
“People are bewildered that after two decades of this big, high-tech power intervening, they are withdrawing and effectively handing the country back to the people we went in to defeat,” Ellwood added. “This is the irony. How can you say America is back when we’re being defeated by an insurgency armed with no more than [rocket-propelled grenades], land mines and AK-47s?”
Riad Kahwaji, whom the Post described as “the Inegma security consultancy in the United Arab Emirates, which hosts one of the biggest American military contingents in the Middle East,” told the newspaper that Biden’s withdrawal “is raising alarm bells everywhere.”
“The U.S.’s credibility as an ally has been in question for a while,” Kahwaji said. “We see Russia fighting all the way to protect the Assad regime [in Syria], and now the Americans are pulling out and leaving a big chaos in Afghanistan.”
Meanwhile, Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, director of the German Council on Foreign Relations, told the Post that German lawmakers are furious with the decision of Biden’s administration.
“The Biden administration came to office promising an open exchange, a transparent exchange with its allies. They said the transatlantic relationship would be pivotal,” Clüver Ashbrook said. “As it is, they’re playing lip service to the transatlantic relationship and still believe European allies should fall into line with U.S. priorities.”
Biden has attempted to defect blame for the disastrous withdrawal on his predecessor, former President Donald Trump. But those attempts ring hallow.
While it is true that Trump initiated the Afghanistan withdrawal, the withdrawal strategy falls squarely on Biden’s shoulders. In fact, Biden was confidently telling reporters just last month the Taliban would not retake control of Afghanistan, denying comparisons to Vietnam.
However, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board pointed out, Biden has overturned countless Trump-era policies. Why is Biden’s administration now claiming that Trump’s May 1 withdrawal deadline is one they could not overturn, too?
From the WSJ:
Note that Mr. Biden is more critical of his predecessor than he is of the Taliban. The President has spent seven months ostentatiously overturning one Trump policy after another on foreign and domestic policy. Yet he now claims Afghanistan policy is the one he could do nothing about. This is a pathetic denial of his own agency, and it’s also a false choice. It’s as if Winston Churchill, with his troops surrounded at Dunkirk, had declared that Neville Chamberlain got him into this mess and the British had already fought too many wars on the Continent.
Biden, in fact, reportedly ignored top military commanders, who recommended retaining a nominal American force in Afghanistan to help maintain security and facilitate a transfer of security responsibilities.
Instead being motivating by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Biden approved the immediate full withdrawal of U.S. forces, a disastrous plan whose consequences are being laid bare as the world watches.