Government Watch / Instagram / National Security / Politics

Afghanistan Attack Shows Biden Has No Clue How to Be President—or Protect America

AMAC Exclusive By: Daniel Roman

Joe Biden’s profoundly un-reassuring press conference yesterday, in the wake of a horrific terrorist attack that killed 13 servicemembers in Afghanistan, was a case study in failed presidential leadership. It embodied everything that is wrong with Biden’s approach to this botched Afghanistan withdrawal, and made excruciatingly clear why we are witnessing this catastrophe. To put it simply, Joe Biden has no idea how to wield presidential power.

Presidential leadership is a matter not just of action but of inspiration. A president has enormous power, but like the United States military itself, the power to act anywhere does not imply the ability to act everywhere. For this reason, the effectiveness of American power depends heavily on the deterrence provided by uncertainty. Knowing it could be used keeps adversaries abroad on their toes, and forces them to calculate their actions. The most successful presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan—have been men of action, but just as importantly they have been masters of the bluff. Of being able to threaten action to get their way. Thomas Jefferson was able to get Louisiana from Napoleon not by fighting him, but by providing the impression that he would if necessary. Ronald Reagan’s policy toward the Soviet Union involved the most sustained Soviet-American cooperation in history, but it was enabled by a willingness to suggest in public that the alternative was the most extreme confrontation.

Donald Trump understood this aspect of statecraft. Joe Biden does not. It is the single greatest difference among many, and it is the one Biden’s defenders miss when they argue that because Donald Trump wished to withdraw from Afghanistan and was willing to negotiate with the Taliban to enable that withdrawal, Biden’s actions today are no different than what Trump’s would have been. To make this argument is to miss entirely the way Trump and other successful commanders-in-chief have always operated.

Donald Trump himself has noted that had he been president, the Taliban would not have dared to behave in the manner they have, dictating deadlines and access rules to US forces in Kabul. The media has predictably attacked him, questioning how his options would have been different. But his “options” are not the point. Neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden had ideal military options in Afghanistan. Yet they wielded those options very differently. Trump left uncertainty in the minds of the Taliban and others as to whether an attack, such as the one that killed 13 US servicemembers this week, would have resulted not just in retaliation, but in a reversal of US disengagement. Maybe, given his “infamous volatility,” such an act might have led Trump to back the Taliban’s domestic opponents with weapons. Whether he would have done so or not, the thought never would have left their minds. And it would have been in their minds when they arranged security and decided how hard they wanted to try and stop ISIS from carrying out attacks against Americans. (Indeed, the situation would almost certainly never have deteriorated to this point in the first place.)

By contrast, as Joe Biden’s remarks and subsequent press conference yesterday made clear once again, he has removed all uncertainty from the minds of the Taliban about the US response to anything which may happen in Afghanistan. Biden has created plenty of uncertainty in the minds of American commanders, America’s allies, and Americans at home about what he may or may not do next, but the Taliban can be fairly certain at this point that nothing will make him reengage with Afghanistan, or meaningfully harm them in any way. Biden might have promised to strike back at “a time and place of our choosing” but as he has made painfully obvious, that time will not be right now, or before August 31st. If there was any doubt as to that, Biden dispelled it by again stressing, as everyone in his administration has, not just that the US was negotiating with the Taliban for security, but that they were relying on the Taliban for security.

This is a key distinction, and not mitigated by Biden’s insistence that he does not trust the Taliban but instead relies upon their sense of self-interest. There is nothing inherently wrong with talking with the Taliban. The last administration did it. Given the disaster which occurred two weeks ago, there was almost certainly no choice but to talk and coordinate with the Taliban on the logistics and security of the evacuation. That could even have been Plan A. But there is a difference between allowing cooperation with the Taliban to be Plan A, and having no Plan B. And there is a difference between having no Plan B, and announcing to the entire world that there is no Plan B. With Donald Trump, his leverage was always having a Plan B—and you could generally be quite sure that his Plan B was worse for you than it was for him.

The problem with purely trusting matters to the Taliban’s self-interest is that their self-interest is to do whatever they can get away with—and in Biden’s case, he has made clear they can get away with almost anything. The reason the Taliban is “cooperating” is that they want America out, and as gratifying as it might be to humiliate the United States further by disrupting the evacuation or inflicting heavy casualties on the 82nd Airborne in Kabul, doing so would undermine their interests. But the reason it would undermine their interests is the assumption that if they went too far – say by attacking the US forces, the US would do something in response. As it becomes clear that the US under Biden will not, in fact, do anything, then the Taliban’s self-interest in helping recedes, making Biden’s plan extremely risky.

We have already seen this dynamic in the debate over extending the withdrawal deadline beyond August 31st. If the Taliban really were willing to assault Hamid Karzai Airport on September 1st if the United States is still there, they would assuredly have done it already. The same risk of retaliation would exist if they assaulted a US military force on September 1st as existed on August 20th. The reason they were able to refuse an extension and threaten an attack is precisely because they knew if they said no to the extension Biden would accept that answer as an excuse to cut short the evacuation. Hence they had no reason to grant the request.

In the last few days, the Taliban have pushed their luck in this respect. They have systematically refused Afghans the right to leave, arguing that Afghanistan needs trained professionals (presumably women) knowing that the US and Europeans would leave on schedule with or without those Afghans and therefore there was no reason to allow them through. They have demanded direct US logistical support, including identification of Afghans who worked with the West as a price of helping remove US citizens, knowing that Biden will say yes.

Biden does not realize that the ISIS attack is very possibly yet another escalation in this pressure campaign. Did the Taliban launch the attack? Biden says no intelligence indicates they did, and I am willing to say they probably did not. But that is a far cry from saying they did everything possible to stop it. The attack disrupted the withdrawal, and it served as a threat of what would happen if the NATO forces were not gone by August 31st. It furthermore left Biden even more dependent on the Taliban. Provided no one could accuse them of direct complicity or negligence, the attack served their self-interest, the self-interest Biden says is their primary motivation, perfectly.

It is probably investing too much in the moment to try to suggest Biden is the worst president in history. James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce managed to inflict vast damage. But he is probably one of the worst deal makers to ever occupy the office. He is being ripped off and out-bargained out of his wallet, shirt and pants by the Taliban in front of a global audience. And his speeches just keep encouraging our enemies.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

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Marilyn W. Patton
1 month ago

Your team may be able to help with some questions. (1) Why was it imperative that all US presence be removed from Afghanistan. We had an air base and military personnel in the region that I am sure was not costing US citizens as much as the ones in other areas, like Saudi Arabia and gave US quick access to other areas and was also close to Afghanistan borders with China and other countries and near Russia. Women, children and Christians had unprecedented freedom and protection. Opium trade could be monitored. The American Embassy was guarded by this base and the base provided secure access to the embassy by the air base. With the Embassy we had the ability to negotiate with the government on trade agreements, etc. such as the rare earth and other minerals and to maintain a network on information gatherers. (2) NSA said we have frozen billions of their dollars in bank accounts. Where did they get that kind of money. We have been told it is one of the poorest nations in the world. Was that a lie. How big of a threat is that really with Russia and China willing to move in and support them for their assets and with all the US military weaponry they can now sell.

Don’t we have troops in other countries where US does not have a national interest, i.e., South Korea. Aren’t we trying to keep South Korea safe from northern aggression and support their economy, and many for troops than were in Afghanistan.

I am confued.

Joanne 4 justice
14 hours ago

I AM NOT SURE IT WAS IMPERATIVE TO LEAVE Afghanistan ! I believe Mr Biden wanted to look like an AMERICAN HERO AND GET TROOPS OUT BEFORE 911 ANNIVERSARY!!!!!! DID CONGRESS VOTE ON THIS ACTION ???? I DO NOT BELIEVE THEY DID ??? DO YOU???

Don
1 month ago

While true Biden hasn’t the capability, we must not forget the many puppeteers who are constantly producing more chaos to keep deflecting to push their communist agenda.

no-mo-libs
1 month ago

Why shouldn’t US taxpayers and voters see this not only as Joe’s incompetence, but the Democrat Party’s attempt to further damage/destroy our country. Three precedents: 1) Hillary labeling entire swaths of the nation as deplorable, 2) Obama giving the Mad Mullahs piles of gold/US dollars, 3) Joe Biden calling Pres. Trump supporters ‘ugly’. Before that we got ‘the video’ and stuff, to justify attacks on our Benghazi Embassy. Why isn’t this another episode of Democrat policy? A cynic would say Joe Biden wanted to ensure that all the supplies Pres. Trump secured for our military (after the drought during the Obama years) were neutralized…and who better to get the stuff but the folks responsible for Benghazi, 9/11? Too cynical? Remember its our money and our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

James
1 month ago

biden 50 years of pure stupidity in a government job HE is the poster Child for .. TERM LIMITS !!!

Hal
1 month ago
Reply to  James

In Joe Hiden’ Biden’s case, the most critical message US voters should be yelling to the Heavens for is a Constitutional Ammendment limiting the age of any POTUS candidate to under 71 mas o menos. AND … FIX THE NOW KNOWN FAILURE IN OUR ELECTION PROCEDURES, RULES, AND CERTIFICATION OF VOTER ELEGIBILTY OF LEGAL VOTERS. An unrigged election count would NOT have put Joe Hiden’ Biden residin’ in the POUTUS position. And our Nation does not have one now!

meritreader
1 month ago
Reply to  James

And Psychological Testing before allowing people to run for High Office!

Stephan
1 month ago

All of the deadliest socialist leaders of the last 100 years murdered large numbers of their own people.

We should have a Biden death tally, similar to the debt clock, showing how many Americans and our allies he’s killed through incompetence, negligence, or whatever.

We should NEVER leave our people behind.

meritreader
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephan

Right Now, there are highly trained Military Soldier DOgS LEFT BEHIND, IN CAGES, LINED UP AT THE AIRPORT ON THE HOT TARMAC, WITH NO WATER OR FDOD TO DIE OF STARVATION. NO ONE IS MAKING ANY EFFORT AT ALL TO GET THESE DOGS OUR OF THERE, THIS IS THE 4TH OR 5TH DAY IN CAGES. IT IS DISGUSTING AND INHUMANE.
I HAVE TRIED TO CONTACT PEOPLE BUT GET NO RESPONSE. IF YOU HAVE ANYONE;S EAR, THIS IS SO TELLING OF WHO JOE BIDEN IS…. NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE ABOUT OUR PEOPLE OR THESE DOGS WHO WORKED FOR OUR SECURITY!

Saunders
1 month ago

So they couldn’t decide who had the greater number of votes in the last election. Funny,
all the other candidates,congressmen(women) and representatives were easily counted.
THEY WERE ON THE SAME BALLOT AS THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES.

Hal
1 month ago
Reply to  Saunders

That should give pause to reflect on the liklihood that the DemocRats have been rigging recent (and perhaps not so recent) non-POTUS state and National elections.

Sam
1 month ago

I did my part in the last election, yet I wonder if my vote REALLY was counted. The Democrats will do all they can to continue to booger up our elections, so I just wonder if ANY of our votes matter anymore. It seems we no longer have elections anymore. The situation has degenerated down to SELECTIONS. How else could this woeful idiot we are stuck with now have “won” by such a huge margin?!

Bob Olden
1 month ago

I hope a vast number of Republicans and independents are ready and willing to be poll workers and poll watchers in 2022. The momentum is surely flowing to the conservative side, but oh those scoundrels have multiple ways to subvert the elections at EVERY LEVEL! Who knows how many conservative candidates were unable to win in 2020 because of mail in ballots and multiple fraudulent practices? “It’s not the voters that count. It’s who counts the votes!”

JimH
1 month ago

In response to comments re: wait until 2022, 2024 and we can take over Congress. This will NOT happen due to voter fraud and potentially new laws (HR1, HR4). The d’rats will control the USA(?) for ever.

Tony Robe
1 month ago

One thing I know for sure. Both the democrats and the Taliban have gain power from the recent election fraud. Neither of them want complete and open audits so that they can continue their boldness of corruption.

David
1 month ago

If Trump had made this decision with a Dem controlled House and Senate both Pelosi and Schumer would have called for a military coup to stop it from being enacted. Pelosi is proud to say she trusts Joe’s judgement…that says everything.

Lackeys
1 month ago

Obama and his minion Biden gave 85 billion in US military equipment to the terrorists on purpose to kill and destroy America, our military, Christians and anyone not allegient to Islam. Now this phoney strike Biden claims against a terrorist/s. I don’t believe any of it!!! Biden’s killed13 military personnel at least and now he is looking to kill a bunch more with his illegal mandate to force our military personnel to take an unproven known harmful vaccine. Biden continues to hide the true effects of these jabs. A person has serious side effects, permanent damage or even death and these phonies in the White House will say it’s unproven to be caused by this illegal mandate. THERE IS NO RECOURSE FOR THOSE DESTROYED BY BIDEN/OBAMA/HARRIS!!!

CHERI FARRELL
1 month ago
Reply to  Lackeys

Sleepy Joe needs to be taken out of office immediately. What he has done to our country is deployable. This all would of never happen if President Trump had been in office. It is disturbing as how so many people (democrats) believe what has happened to our country is A-ok. I fear for my children and grandchildren in the future. My heart hurts for the families of the fallen. This all must stop. Impeach him or try him for treason.

Clark Kent
1 month ago
Reply to  CHERI FARRELL

Not going to happen. But thanks for playing.

Laynee8
1 month ago

Try him for treason.

Clark Kent
1 month ago
Reply to  Laynee8

Never going to happen. But thanks for playing.

Johnny Bad
1 month ago

Our president is the ULTIMATE YES MAN, O’BAMA’S YES MAN, RUSSIA’S YES MAN, CHINAS YES MAN, KAMALA’S YES MAN, and now the ULTIMATE “NOWHERE MAN”

Steven F Osga
1 month ago

No matter what happens to Biden we will only have Harris to continue what is now the absolutely worse presidency in history. I can only think of another despicable president who failed this country but with eloquent speeches or so I’ve been told. The only way this story is going to become something we can cheer about is if the entire administration is hauled off to places even Hillary had never thought of.

Clark Kent
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven F Osga

Nope. Dumbocrats control both the House and Senate.

meritreader
1 month ago
Reply to  Clark Kent

SAD BUT TRUE. REPUBLICANS HAVE NO POWER RIGHT NOW…. WILL YOU PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN NEXT ROUND, OR STAY WITH THE DEMOCRAT-NAZIS? YES, THEIR RULES ARE DIRECTLY FROM THE NAZI HANDBOOK. LOOK IT UP, BUT BE WARNED, IT IS BRUTAL BEYOND WORDS.
TY THE WAY, OUT MILITARY SOLDIER DOGS ARE LINED UP IN CAGES ON THE KABUL TARMAC, ON CAMERA WITH NO FOOD OR WATER, TO DIE OF STARVATION…. THIS IS THE 4TH OR 5 THS DAY IN THE HEAT WITH NO CARE, AND NO ONE IS COMING FOR THEM. IF YOU KNOW OF ANYONE WHO WILL CARE, PLEASE CONTACT THEM. THIS IS SO HORRIFIC AND INHUMANE, TALIBAN IS TORTURING US WITH THIS GUT WRENCHING DISPLAY ON CAMERA. THESE DOGS WORKED WITH OUR SOLDIERS AND DO NOT DESERVE THIS SICK TREATMENT. NO ONE IS IEVEN SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS! oUR CITIZENS ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE BEHIND ENEMY LINES AS WELL! SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

EddieV
1 month ago

The article left out that if Harris becomes president there’s no VP to break tie votes in the Senate until the House and Senate vote for one. The Senate Republicans could stop any legislation Harris proposes by not voting for the VP nominee. I’m assuming Harris becomes president while the Dems control the House and the Senate is tie; before the Republicans take control of the House and maybe the Senate in January 2023. Unfortunately, weak-kneed Republicans like Twit Romney and Lisa Moronkowski would vote for the VP nominee, blowing this opportunity.

PaulE
1 month ago
Reply to  EddieV

Incorrect! Harris would simply select a new VP or more accurately, the people pulling the puppet’s strings would pick the new VP. The Congress would give a ceremonial nod (no Congressional approval is actually required) of approval to whomever Harris picks and that new VP would be there to break any Senate ties with his or her vote.

Max
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

How true.

Bill on the Hill
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

Hi PaulE… Could this be the moment HRC has been waiting for?
It is a scary thought for sure, but in light of all that has occurred in the interim, anything is possible with these godless rats!
For the moment they need JRB right where he is & the cackling hairy camel toes right where she is in order to not upset the tie breaking vote in the illegally voted Senate from the fraudulent Georgia General election…It all feels like a viscous circle, round & round we go, where it ends, nobody knows…
Bill on the Hill… :~)

Max
1 month ago

Bill, your last part gets the cake.

PaulE
1 month ago

HRC has no interest other than being proclaimed POTUS. She certainly would NOT entertain being second fiddle to a President Harris. Besides, HRC is old, dead news as far as her own party is concerned. The Obama era folks that are all through the Biden administration still hate her for losing to Trump. So sorry, HRC will have to be content just getting drunk all day and replaying the 2016 election results over and over again.

As I specified above, if Harris is made POTUS, she just names a new VP. So there is no vacuum created that puts Democrat control of the Senate in jeopardy. That’s literally a one day effect, as the folks running Biden / Harris have already vetted and selected a suitable new VP to plug into the position.

Bill on the Hill
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

Agreed, I was testing you, lol!
Bill on the Hill…:~)

meritreader
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

SUSAN RICE WOULD BE A NIGHTMARE…. SHE IS SUPPOSEDLY THE VOICE IN JOE BIDEN’S RIGHT EAR….. OBAMA CRONY WITH AN EVIL PLAN.

meritreader
1 month ago

BILL, THAT IS ONE VERY SCARY THOUGHT! KILLARY BACK IN THE CHAIR??? OMG, WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING DRASTIC BUT LEGAL!

Howard MacKinnon
1 month ago

This entire admin must be stopped. The damage they have done to our great country will take years to correct. Now that the irregularities in the election are exposed, We the People must demand a total audit of states. All actions by this admin must stop including setting budgets, making laws & spending money. Us Americans must get to the border & shut it down. Fence our White House again & don’t let anyone out. It is correction time.

Clark Kent
1 month ago

‘Us American must get to the border & shut it down’? So Border Patrol agents are not Americans?

James
1 month ago
Reply to  Clark Kent

bury yourself with kryptonite troll..

Clark Kent
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Go back to the Daily Planet, little Jimmy Olson.

Garye
1 month ago

No clue, failure, that sums up joebama and democrats.
This pond slime only cares about money and power for themselves.
They are deliberately destroying America, denying Our God given rights ,and intend on eliminating Freedom.
They must go, begin the purge in 2022,continue in 2024, don’t stop until they are eradicated!!
Wake up People- they are at your door, taking everything you hold dear.

Clark Kent
1 month ago
Reply to  Garye

Not going to happen due to three simple words: widespread voter fraud.

Anna Young
1 month ago

I cannot believe this is happening – we obviously have no President, no articulate and competent leader!

William Hodge
1 month ago

This buffoon is being played by Obama. Obama realizes he is the worst president our nation has ever had just below Jimmy Carter. He didn’t want to be worst so we now have a doofus as president.

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