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Can US recover from Afghanistan debacle?

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President Joe Biden's defense of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was callous, self-serving and deeply unconvincing. Above all, it was beside the point. The question is no longer whether U.S. troops should have stayed. It's how the U.S. can minimize the damage caused by this grievously bungled exit.

Some of the gloating among U.S. rivals is overdone, but there's no doubt U.S. credibility has suffered a crippling blow. Abandoning loyal Afghan allies to their fate will haunt future U.S. interventions around the world. Friends have been snubbed. Rival powers will take heart. Terror groups that were always going to be hard to target from afar are now set to grow bigger and faster than before. Recovering from this debacle will require long, painstaking effort.

It must start with telling the truth. So far, the president has refused to recognize this misadventure as a failure. If a mess of this order doesn't qualify, it's hard to know what would. Biden needs to be honest, not blithely unyielding in his own defense.

Next comes securing the evacuation of Americans and their allies. The U.S. should do all it can to ensure........

© The Korea Times

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