Mission failed. The Taliban took Kabul on August 15th. While, America successfully assassinated Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and all but totally defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan, the reason for American troops being in the region, is lost. So then, is the mission really failed? After all, the original raison d’etre for invading the country was not necessarily to defeat the Taliban.
The news in Afghanistan, both the Taliban conquest of nearly all regions and cities, nationwide, and the evacuation of American citizens and their close and proven allies at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital city and the country’s largest, Kabul, has inundated the news cycle. I’ve been watching MSNBC and Fox News. The latter, I hardly ever watch anymore, but the former, to compliment Fox News, failed to speak about the humanitarian crisis and the Taliban’s irreducible list of casualties, since the beginning of the Marine Corps’ withdrawal from the region. Perhaps, President Joe Biden isn’t being totally forthright when it comes to the humanitarian and human toll the Taliban has recently wrought. However, once again, we who are concerned with the goings-about in the Middle East ought to prefer Biden to Trump. First, the goings-on in Kabul relates to two talking-points of ex-President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 incumbent presidential campaign. He swore that he would end Afghanistan and all “forever wars”. Second, he trumpeted a total and complete victory over ISIS.
President Biden’s anti-Afghanistan War-stance, dates back to the days of his double-term tenure as Vice President, under former-President Barack Hussein Obama. Meanwhile, Trump’s Anti-Afghanistan War-stance, dates back to the four years of his administration’s single-term tenure. If Trump had won the 2020 election, the result of such a sudden, uneven, poorly planned, Fall of Saigon-esque withdrawal, would have been no different. Given his mercurial personality, chances are the Trump administration’s hypothetical version of the withdrawal wouldn’t have gone much better. It would have been worse. And remember, Donald Trump talked about leaving Afghanistan, all the time! The fact that the United States military would eventually leave the region was a pure inevitability. It would have happened under Trump, and it is a wonder why it didn’t happen under former-President Barack Obama, who withdrew most American troops from Iraq.
A new angle in the news is that an offshoot of Islamic State, known as, ISIS-K, have warranted an emergency terror alert in Kabul, and elsewhere, and threaten to hamper the progress of the evacuations. As a result, the U.S. military is setting up “alternative roots”, to traffic those wishing to leave Afghanistan to the airport in Kabul. If this is the case, it couldn’t possibly be true that the conservative Republican administration of Donald Trump totally defeated ISIS, as he assured the entire country. Like I said, I’ve been watching Fox News: the attacks on Biden fill up every segment of each hour-long show. And I am reminded of why I usually no longer watch the network.