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Biden’s Afghan blunder

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NEW DELHI – Afghanistan is on the brink of catastrophe and it is U.S. President Joe Biden’s fault. By overruling America’s top generals and ordering the hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops, Biden opened the way for Taliban terrorists to capture more than a quarter of Afghanistan’s districts.

Now, the Taliban is pushing toward Kabul and the United States is looking weaker than ever.

The U.S. effectively ended its military operations in Afghanistan on July 1, when it handed over to the Afghan government the sprawling Bagram Air Base, which long served as the staging ground for U.S. operations in the country. In fact, “handover” is too generous a description. In a sign of what is to come, U.S. forces quietly slipped out of the base overnight after shutting off the electricity. The resulting security lapse allowed looters to scavenge the facilities before Afghan troops arrived and gained control.

Biden has vehemently defended his decision to withdraw, arguing that the U.S. “did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build” and that “staying would have meant U.S. troops taking casualties.” He has also stood by his rushed approach, insisting that “speed is safety” in this context. “How many thousands more of America’s daughters and sons are you willing to risk?”

The implication was clear: Questioning the wisdom of the U.S. withdrawal is tantamount to supporting the endangerment of Americans. But it is Afghans who are really in jeopardy.

Recall the last time the U.S. left a war unfinished: In 1973, it hastily abandoned its allies in South Vietnam. The next year, 80,000 South Vietnamese........

© The Japan Times

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