Biden’s Determined Humility Regarding Afghanistan Is What America Needs Right Now
In a speech from the White House on Monday afternoon, President Joe Biden expressed a sentiment that has rarely been a part of the official, stated U.S. foreign policy over the past two decades.
“If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision,” Biden said. “I will not repeat the mistakes we’ve made in the past. The mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national security interest of the United States.”
Faced with widespread—and, in many ways, justified—criticism for how his administration has conducted America’s military withdrawal from the nearly 20-year occupation of Afghanistan, Biden admitted that the Taliban takeover of the country happened “more quickly than we anticipated.” But Biden remained resolute about the big picture: There is no military solution to Afghanistan, and keeping American troops there for another year, decade, or longer would not change that.
It matters because the biggest failure in Afghanistan was not what happened over the past week or two. It was not even what happened over the past few years, with the Trump administration negotiating a withdrawal and Biden mostly sticking to that timetable after taking office in January. The biggest failure was the open-ended military occupation that sought not only to disrupt the terror cells th
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