President Biden won the 2020 Presidential elections with a campaign strategy that promised a more compassionate foreign affairs policy. His decision to remove all American troops from Afghanistan’s territory, leaving the country completely vulnerable to Taliban intervention, gave a very different impression.
The humanitarian catastrophe currently unfolding in Afghanistan suggest that Biden’s concern was directly aimed at ending all economic and military intervention in the area rather than holding any true concern for the chaos and crisis that would erupt following the removal.
Many critics agree that the withdrawal from Afghanistan was the only viable solution for the US as few concessions were being made and peace seemed ever-more unlikely after 20 years; however, others are quick to raise questions as to the manner and method through which the removal occurred. The utter chaos in Kabul has revealed a tactless and poorly thought out plan of disengagement.
For years, the Afghan government, Taliban forces, and American troops on the ground were unable to achieve any resounding and decisive military victories, negotiations, or peace deals. It seems they were also unable to ensure a peaceful removal of US military intervention.
As Taliban forces took over the capital, it became clear that Biden and his team had primarily failed to show concern for the overall wellbeing and safety of the Afghan citizens as well as their evacuation needs. The aims of the operation were clear: Get out as fast as we can and what happens when we leave is no longer our problem.
Leon E. Panetta, former defense secretary commented “I just had the feeling that he was so wrapped up in the decision itself that he forgot the basics of implementation. The American people may be with you on the decision, but if they see chaos, they’re going to be very concerned that the president doesn’t have his act together.”
All in all, Biden achieved his goal of removing the US from a fruitless 20 year long war. The manner of disengagement showed no concern for the future prospects of Afghanistan or its people. As the US leaves, Afghanistan remains in a worse social, political, and economic situation than when they first arrived.
Edited by Andrea Ruffoni