The American president isn’t present, and that’s a problem

Scathing criticisms of Joe Biden’s disastrous cut-and-run in Afghanistan have been issued by even his media cheerleaders at CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Career diplomats including former Obama officials have publicly excoriated his administration for incompetence. Foreign leaders are baffled.

Only the Taliban is happy.

A withdrawal from Afghanistan may have been necessary, but it didn’t have to happen this way. Only 2,500 soldiers were there anyway – about the same as in Iraq. As in Iraq, this small number kept relative peace. The last American soldier killed in Afghanistan was a year and a half ago. That’s one more dead soldier than I’d like, but it’s a violent world and soldiers keeping the peace have a dangerous job.

Biden assured us just a month ago that this wouldn’t happen. He said the Afghan soldiers far outnumbered the Taliban, and there would be no “Saigon” moment where American embassy staff are helicoptered from the roof of the embassy as the barbarians bang down the gate.

But here we are, only a month later, and that’s roughly what is happening. It’s in part because Biden discontinued nearly all the air support that was key to the Afghan government’s military. The Taliban now own the entire country, and are threatening even the chaotic Kabul airport where Afghans are clinging to the outside of airplanes trying to take off. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of Americans may be trapped.

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