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‘Blood On His Hands’: Joe Biden’s Greatest Mistake

Joe Biden downplays the anniversary of the end of the Afghanistan war. He is silent about the 13 Americans who were killed exclusively because of his sloppy withdrawal.

August is a month that will forever live in infamy, as long as I am alive. It was this month two years ago that the Biden administration effected one of the worst military withdrawals in modern history. Everything that could have gone wrong essentially did go wrong for the doomed mission to end America’s longest war. 

At the time, the forty-sixth president had the gall to claim the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a resounding success.

Two years later, everyone knows fundamentally that the withdrawal was one of America’s greatest failures, yet the Biden administration has done everything in its power to downplay and outrightly ignore the two-year anniversary of its Afghanistan debacle. 

Just the Facts

Let’s look at the real facts for a moment and compare Biden’s initial praise of the withdrawal with the reality as a means of explaining the real reason President Joe Biden won’t really talk about the event on its two-year anniversary. 

First, the reason that the Americans found themselves in the dusty foothills of a Central Asian nation was in direct response to the horrific 9/11 Attacks which were planned by Osama Bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network. 

America gave the ruling Taliban an ultimatum: surrender al Qaeda to the U.S. or suffer the same fate as al Qaeda. The Taliban refused to assist the Americans and so they, too, were targeted by the swift U.S. military push into Afghanistan that followed 9/11. 

Afghanistan was known historically as the “graveyard of empires.” Alexander the Great, the British at the height of their empire, and the Soviet Union all went to war there and suffered devastating defeats. 

Yet the Americans after 9/11, with their righteous mission of vengeance, were well poised to overcome the mistakes of previous empires. For a while, it looked as though they had avoided the quagmire that other great powers fell into. 

That is until the politicians and war profiteers got their corrupt hands on the mission. 

After the debacle at Tora Bora in December 2001, when Bin Laden was allowed to escape into neighboring Pakistan despite having been surrounded by an undermanned force of CIA, U.S. Special Forces, and local Afghan fighters, the U.S. mission started losing focus.

As if to change the narrative from the abject failure to capture Bin Laden and his confederates at Tora Bora, the George W. Bush administration went hard against Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Because of that, key U.S. military elements were transferred from Afghanistan to Iraq, harming the overall war effort against al Qaeda and their Taliban allies. 

Years would go on where the Americans were simply fighting a giant holding action against the reconstituted forces of al Qaeda and the Taliban while the Iraq War dominated the news and attention spans of U.S. leaders. 

Inevitably, when the Democratic Party’s Barack Obama assumed the presidency, the Iraq War went by the wayside and the war in Afghanistan again became the preoccupation of Washington’s policymakers. 

Despite President Obama’s forceful defense of Afghanistan as the “right war” over George W. Bush’s “war of choice” in Iraq, even he quickly realized the futility of the war.

How can you fundamentally change a society that is mired in the seventh century, possesses a completely alien culture to the Americans, and has a complex web of ethno-religious tribal divisions that would take many lifetimes to understand, let alone manipulate to serve U.S. security interests? 

The answer, as Obama concluded, was that you could not. Despite this insight, Obama allowed the war to continue throughout his presidency rather than become the man who presided over the inevitable failure there.

It was Republican outcast, Donald J. Trump, who not only concluded the war was unwinnable but that the United States had to end its commitment there. Still, Trump remained committed to breaking the backs of both al Qaeda and the Taliban, as they were the parties most responsible for 9/11. 

In the final year of the Trump administration, the forty-fifth president had crafted a basic agreement to end the war that would have ended in the ultimate, orderly withdrawal of most U.S. forces, leaving behind a small group to continue fighting al Qaeda in those dusty foothills—and that would have preserved the US-backed government in Kabul.

Joe Biden’s Rise and the End of the War in Afghanistan

Then came Joe Biden’s presidency. One of the first things he did was to abandon the U.S. redoubt at Bagram Air Base. A key node in America’s supply chain to Afghanistan, Bagram was well suited to be the centerpiece of any American evacuation of the country. 

Yet in the months leading up to the disastrous drawdown, Biden authorized U.S. forces to abandon the long-held base—in the dead of night.

One day, America’s allies in the Afghan National Army who were stationed on the important base awoke to find the Americans had essentially packed up and disappeared from the base while they all slept.

Just a few short months later, despite the Pentagon’s assurances to the contrary, Taliban fighters appeared on the outskirts of Kabul.

From the moment the recon elements of the Taliban entered the city, America’s spasmodic withdrawal from the Hamid Karzai International Airport was assured.

Since the disastrous evacuation, details have come out from a litany of sources, who were on the ground for the evacuation, indicating that all was not as it seemed.

Many experts have told me that they suspect key elements of the U.S.- and NATO-trained Afghan National Army had switched sides and were in the vanguard element of the Taliban’s surprise push into Kabul.

One military analyst showed me photos of some of the Taliban fighters posing. He zoomed into the photograph and pointed out that the way many of those Taliban fighters were holding their rifles was the exact same way that U.S. and NATO forces are trained to handle their weapons.

He then showed me videos of the Taliban moving into the city and paused to show the way some of them were moving. Again, in the fashion that those trained by Western forces would move. 

An Anatomy of Failure

Once the Americans abandoned their fortified base at Bagram, all the tribes that had sworn fealty to the West quickly changed sides, rightly sensing that the Taliban were about to win the war. 

The United States spent 20 years in Afghanistan. Some estimates place U.S. deaths in Afghanistan in that time at around 4,000. The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University places the true costs of the war to be between $2 trillion and $3 trillion. In a matter of one month in 2021, all that was thrown away by Biden.

The Americans abandoned Afghanistan in a slap-dash way. For 20 years, they resisted both the Taliban and their al Qaeda allies. Thousands of Americans died fighting to prevent the Taliban from returning to power in Afghanistan.

Biden handed the entire country over to the Taliban. He did more than that, too. Biden abandoned $7 billion dollars worth of equipment to the Taliban. 

What’s more, the Biden administration relied on the Taliban to help them secure the evacuation routes for Americans throughout their hasty departure from Afghanistan.

To compound matters, the Biden administration presided over an operation that resulted in 13 young American Marines being killed in the closing hours of the final American departure from the country. 

Even the Biden administration’s revenge attack against the suspected militants who murdered those Marines was botched. It has since been determined that the Americans droned ten innocent Afghans — including multiple children.

It took more than a year for the Taliban of all groups to supposedly find the real culprits behind the horrific attack that day and bring those alleged terrorists to justice.

Today, the Biden administration recognizes the very same Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan. The same Taliban that the United States spent 20 years trying to crush. 

At least 175 Americans are still stuck in Afghanistan today, some held hostage by the Taliban. Since those are official estimates from the Biden administration, the number may be higher. 

Joe Biden Has Blood On His Hands 

Yet, Joe Biden downplays the anniversary of the end of the war. He is silent about the 13 Americans who were killed exclusively because of his sloppy withdrawal. Even less is said about the connective tissue linking the disastrous end to America’s War in Afghanistan with the rise in aggression from the likes of Russia, Iran, and China in their parts of the world.

All because Biden dropped the geopolitical ball in Afghanistan. Now he and his advisors attempt to hide the failure at all costs. We must never forget the disaster that was the Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan. Otherwise, such incompetence will continue, and more Americans will die.

PAUL BRITTON
PAUL BRITTONhttps://tosbos.com/
Paul joined the Manchester Evening News in 2004 and Tosbos in 2022. A senior reporter, he's experienced in crime and court reporting - and also holds the defense portfolio.
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