Who lost Afghanistan? Why politicians and pundits are asking the wrong question
In 1949, Washington was plunged into a great geopolitical debate. Who lost China?
The Communist takeover of the mainland was blamed on Harry Truman, and Skemonger Joe McCarthy told Secretary of State Dean Acheson “that magnificent diplomat in striped pants” for “the loss of China.” Appointed. However, the Washington Post editorial said that the United States “has never been able to have a minor impact on China’s fate. China has been lost to the Chinese. It is a verdict that is currently accepted by many historians.
Judging by the headlines, many politicians today agree that Joe Biden lost Afghanistan. Yet he took office at the end of the 20 Years War. There, two predecessors from different political parties also wanted to get out of the swamp.
There is no doubt that Biden failed in both the planning and execution of the US withdrawal, resulting in the deaths of 13 servicemen in unrest, genocide and suicide bombings. He and his national security team made a brilliant miscalculation about the strength of the government and Afghan troops, bent like a paper tiger, although they claimed the exit was “messy.” History will record this as a global humiliation for the United States, as our military withdrawal officially ends today.
Yet the speed of the Taliban takeover must be separated from the political decision to end the never-successful 20-Year War. Biden wanted to expel the US military for the same reason as Donald Trump. We were still spending billions of dollars, putting our lives at risk in a country constantly torn apart by tribal wars.
Kabul after the atomic bombing: media criticism does not work
And that was, after all, a popular position. With the exception of the Falcon Minority political and media delegation, the public has long been fed up with Afghanistan – in fact, increasingly coordinating it. More than two-thirds of those who answered the polls supported the withdrawal. As we have learned very painfully in Vietnam and Iraq, war cannot go on indefinitely without the support of the general public.
After 20 years of lies and deceptive assurances (all reminiscent of Vietnam’s “light at the end of the tunnel”), we have simply supported the corrupt and incompetent regime in Kabul.
Was Jerry Ford responsible for the fall of Saigon because he was in power in 1975? Richard Nixon signed a peace deal with Hanoi and withdrew the last major invaders two years ago. And Nixon inherited the war from LBJ, who vowed not to let American boys fight the Asian War in 1964, and did just that to prevent the collapse of the Cold War “domino”. Vietnam tore our country apart, and the president could not have supported it forever.
Of course, the general public may want to be inconsistent. Let us flee Afghanistan, but all of us, and all the locals who have helped us, must escape safely, and the country must not once again become a paradise for terrorism. War doesn’t work that way.
The United States entered Afghanistan after 9/11 for good reason to capture Osama bin Laden and retaliate against al Qaeda. The first part of the mission lasted 10 years, but after that we slipped into nation building. It is a permanent fantasy to be able to sow democratic seeds in this troubled region. No wonder the people finally lost patience, especially after invading Iraq with weapons of mass destruction without Bush.
Washington Post columnist Max Boot said, “After all, after all, our leaders only gave us what we wanted. “
Critics say Boot is winning foreign policy establishment. But he said Trump “set Hughes on fire” by releasing 5,000 Taliban prisoners, and Biden “should have done better, but he didn’t.”
Michael Brendan Dougherty of the National Review said, “I am glad the Eternal War is over. It’s embarrassing, embarrassing and ugly because Joe Biden made our exit. And he accuses his plan of failing. It is worth doing it. It’s been as ugly as corruption, death, and chaos over the past decade, and it seems like it never bothered advocates of Eternal War until we stopped participating. “
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He concludes: “The Americans who get the final vote are the worst thing that has happened to the advocates of the global democratic revolution. “
While everyone must take responsibility, it is true that no one takes responsibility. It is also true that there is an important lesson here, even in American foreign policy and even in the greatest military limits the world has ever known. Warlords and guerrillas can just outlast us.
Failure to learn these lessons is to believe that we have finally lost Afghanistan, and that it belongs to us.
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