This unmitigated disaster is on this administration. Yes there are 20 years of issues across multiple administrations and party lines but the way this was handled in this moment is not on them. Iím sick over the plight of the Afghan people but Iím livid over how our people were left. How interpreters were left. How the Bagram Air Base was shut down before getting people out. Reports of not helping Americans and others stuck outside Kabul. How this has all gone down. This is a bleeping clown show with so many lives at stake and far reaching, long lasting consequences.
I really have to disagree here - Biden was in a no-win situation and itís a miracle that no lives were lost.
The agreement with the Taliban was in several parts: firstly, that the US would take no part in any internal conflict within Afghanistan (effectively saying that the US would not resist a Taliban takeover of a region); secondly that 5,000 Taliban would be released by the US; and thirdly that the US would withdraw on a strict timetable.
So Biden enters office after a hostile transition, with Donald Trump having done nothing to prepare for a transition - not even a plan. So Biden is forced to do it and do it quickly because of the timetable.
Unfortunately Taliban didnít care about any of this. As far as they were concerned, they could invade Afghanistan at will, and the US wouldnít intervene.
Biden could have cancelled the withdrawal, or attempted to further delay it, but this wouldnít have changed the Talibanís plans. They were invading regardless, because the one thing that had stopped them (the risk that the US would fight back) was off the table: Trump had agreed to release the troops. With less than 5,000 US troops in Afghanistan, if the Taliban decided to do battle with US forces, the American troops would have been slaughtered - the Talibanís forces standing at roughly 80,000 troops.
So, Bidenís faced with a problem: the Taliban are invading Afghanistan based on the timetable agreed by Donald Trump. Theyíve been told that US forces wonít fight, which is why theyíre invading. And there arenít enough troops on the ground to actually fight - and not that Biden wants them to. He agrees that the US should withdraw. The difference is that he would have done it more gradually, and sensibly, rather than simply handing the country to the Taliban without consideration for the withdrawal.
Unfortunately, heís forced into a bad position, and he has to honor the deal or risk the Taliban turning on a vastly-outnumbered set of US forces. Worse still, the Afghan Army refused to fight for their country, so the timetable has shrunk even more than the US had expected: now, suddenly, they have to withdraw with the Taliban in control of Afghanistan.
None of this would have come to pass had Donald Trump not locked the US into an agreement, and then done little to actually ensure a timely withdrawal. He wasted months following the election, and the hostile nature of the transition ensured that Biden would not only have a truckload of problems to attend to as soon as he came into office, but that heíd have to put a full withdrawal into place from scratch, since Trump hadnít bothered a full plan to get the job done.
JMO - thereís plenty of blame to go around.