Is Joe Biden Abandoning Americans? Doubt It
No admin would - or could - tell us all they're doing to keep Americans safe.
The war in Afghanistan is done, but Joe Biden’s last mission is not, not quite yet. He promised to bring every American home. He promised to leave Kabul by August 31. Yet thousands of US citizens remain in country. How can he square that circle?
I’ve had plenty to say critical of the administration’s evacuation in Kabul on social media, so I won’t repeat it here. It’s easy to mock the seeming lack of a plan and right-wing social media are getting right on that, and to be fair….
But Biden’s not as dumb as Trump. He has assessed the situation with realism and vigor. The Taliban are certainly in a tight spot, for all the humiliations they inflicted on Americans at the airport (the Pentagon admitting an American was ‘beaten with chains’ was a low point). After the Americans leave, they have to face the grim reality of governance in a city with no money in the Atms, closed banks, and severe inflation that may become hyperinflation. As the sadly surrounded Resistance are finding out in Panjshir, it’s easier to take a place than to hold it. The Taliban need money, they need recognition, and, of course, they will recognize that literally no US President even Joe Biden is going to sit by as they attack, kidnap or murder thousands of US citizens. If that happens, it would indeed be war again, and a humbled Biden would almost certainly, enraged at being made to look foolish, become the greatest war hawk they ever saw.
Thus, it’s not nearly as much of a gamble as it looks to entrust safe passage to the Taliban. But - and there is always a but - the downside for Biden is American lives and the end of his Presidency. The Taliban wants to be a government again; they are a hostile nation now with whom we can do business. They are allied with Al Qaeda, but unlikely - for all the reasons above - to tolerate Al Qaeda messing with their US deal. The real dangers to American citizens come from three sources:
Junior Taliban hotheads
Junior or Senior Al Qaeda hotheads
Of these three, ISIS, who presently hate the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, are by the biggest threat. But the others present dangers also. There isn’t exactly a smooth chain of command, military discipline and easy comms. Do the Taliban have the ability to beat back ISIS from every US citizen who needs to leave? Maybe - and maybe not. It isn’t the kind of gamble President Biden can take.
Common sense suggests therefore that while the C-130s may depart HKIA for the final time in this chapter of Afghanistan’s history - let the record show I predict we will be back under President Harris - that a silent, deadly force will remain in Afghanistan. Moreover, sources linked to a non-American NATO country suggest that there may be a coalition effort along these lines. There are, frankly, a lot of rich Western nations who also haven’t got their people out. The G7 pled with Biden for an extension and did not get it. That suggests that France, Italy, Britain and others have an extended need to evacuate citizens from Kabul, Kandahar and elsewhere.
President Biden has already spoken of keeping “anti-terrorism capability” over Afghanistan. I take that to mean that Biden will order Special Operational Forces, in some way, shape or form, to remain in country to guard the evacuation of citizens and that Britain, Italy, France etc will quietly send back a few score operators to escort their people out as needed.
Will Biden announce that? It’s possible; domestic criics will hammer on his perceived weakness. But it would also humble the Taliban, so it seems unlikely. A tacit agreement may well be exactly what the CIA Director was discussing with the Taliban last week; Biden keeps quiet about the presence of mixed teams in country, and the Taliban get the credit for a safe evacuation of Americans, guarded from ISIS and other unstable forces. The peaceable, successful evacuation of Americans and translators would make Biden look as if he were right all along, and make the Taliban look as though they were a stable, though repressive, governing power. Joe Biden has it in his power to turn the disastrous slide in the polls back the other way, confounding his critics and recovering his reputation as a statesman. It would be ironic that the “diplomatic negotiation” would actually be happening under the watchful eyes, and guns, of the SAS, the SRR, Canadian JTF 2, and other top-level operators, including America’s own, who don’t need a uniform to operate with the deadliest force imaginable. But isn’t that ever the watchword of the silent professional? “Recognition is failure.”
Have your say in the comments!