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One Year Later, Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster Still Reverberating

Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2022
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by Andrew Abbott
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AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

One year ago this month, Major General Chris Donahue quietly boarded the last C-17 out of Kabul. After weeks of tragedy and chaos accompanying Biden’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan, the 82nd Airborne Commander was the final American service member to leave the country after twenty years of U.S. involvement there. While General Donahue could take comfort that he was bringing all 1,000 of his paratroopers home alive, the scene nonetheless marked an ignominious final chapter to America’s longest war.

With all that has happened in the past year, it is worth looking back on the events of August 2021 in all their horrible detail. The scale of the catastrophe that was Biden’s Afghanistan exit has not diminished with time – in fact, its full contours may only now be coming into view.

The story of the United States’ greatest foreign policy embarrassment since Vietnam actually began in February of 2020, when former President Donald Trump reached a preliminary agreement with the Taliban to begin an ordered withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country. Under the terms of the agreement, the Taliban would have to negotiate with the U.S.-backed Afghan government, permit the education of women, and cut all ties with Al-Qaeda. Any failure to meet these provisions, Trump promised, would be met with swift military retaliation – a threat that the Taliban had come to learn was not empty in 2019 when Trump launched a withering aerial bombardment after an American service member was killed by a Taliban car bomb.

Fast forward to April of 2021, when The Washington Post reported that President Joe Biden intended to have all combat troops out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Biden no doubt hoped it would be a high-profile accomplishment for his administration that he could tout on the anniversary. Privately, however, Biden’s national security team and military leaders warned that withdrawing all U.S. forces would make it nearly impossible to ensure the Taliban did not reclaim total control as they had pre-9/11. They also warned that a civil war was likely inevitable without some form of U.S. support. Yet Biden was unmoved. Later, under pressure from the Taliban, Biden moved up the withdrawal deadline to August 31.

As U.S. forces began their departure, the Taliban began a rapid advance through the country. While the number of American troops on the ground was small by 2021, thousands of American private contractors still worked with the Afghan military. According to Foreign Policy, “The Afghans had relied on contractors for everything from training and gear maintenance to preparing them for intelligence gathering and close air support in their battles against Taliban fighters.” With this critical support withdrawn, the Afghan military was crippled and quickly folded before the Taliban insurgents.

Even as the Biden administration conceded the Taliban were advancing more rapidly than predicted, they dismissed concerns that the Afghan government could collapse completely. In a June 7 congressional hearing, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said confidently, “If there is a significant deterioration in security, I don’t think it’s going to be something that happens from a Friday to a Monday.”

Just over two months later, Blinken was proven dead wrong. The Taliban rapidly took control of one province after another—and after the Biden administration abandoned Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night, that too was captured by the Taliban, and thousands of hardened terrorists were released from the base’s prison.

On August 15, the Taliban suddenly took control of Kabul, beginning a two-week scramble to get American equipment and personnel out of the country – an effort that would ultimately prove a dismal failure.

As the U.S. military desperately tried to hold on to the city’s airport for evacuations, the Taliban began their reign of terror over the Afghan people.

Tens of thousands of panicked residents gathered at the entrances to the airport, begging to be on one of the last few planes out of the country. Thousands of Afghan citizens who had worked with U.S. forces were now prime targets of the Taliban. Many were executed in broad daylight, while others were sold into slavery.

Those Afghans who were able to make it into the airport were packed into cargo holds and passenger jets, often at random. Some even clung to the wheel wells of departing C-17s, falling hundreds of feet to their deaths. On August 16, one of these planes leaving Afghanistan had to make an emergency landing in Qatar after the wheels of the plane failed to close. Upon landing, they discovered that an Afghan refugee had attempted to escape by crawling into the wheel well and was crushed to death.

Despite the rapidly deteriorating security conditions, American heroes on the ground showed tremendous bravery. Placed in an impossible situation by their leaders in Washington, U.S. military service members kept their nerve and risked life and limb to perform their duties with honor. The terrifying reality, however, was that the safety of American troops was ultimately at the mercy of the very terrorists they had spent twenty years fighting, since the Biden administration had struck a “deal” with the Taliban that U.S. forces would not leave the vicinity of the airport.

Then, on August 26, a suicide bomber detonated a homemade explosive device outside the airport. 13 American servicemembers and 183 civilians were killed – the bloodiest day for the U.S. military in Afghanistan in years. Biden’s response was to urge the evacuation efforts to move faster.

With the last plane taking off on August 31, Biden would tout the 120,000 civilians evacuated by America’s armed forces, incredibly calling the operation a “success.” But in addition to tens of thousands of American allies, hundreds of American citizens were left behind, breaking Biden’s central promise to get every American out.

Today, the Taliban control Afghanistan with a brutal hand. The country produces 80% of the world’s heroin, and is once again a safe-haven for terrorists of all stripes. Last month, Amnesty International released a report with the blunt and horrifying title, “Death in Slow Motion; Women and Girls Under Taliban Rule.” It details how “in less than a year, the Taliban have decimated the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.” The people live in fear, all while the Taliban enjoy the tens of billions of dollars in military equipment left behind by evacuating U.S. forces.

Americans are rightly still asking how it all went so wrong so fast – and, perhaps more importantly, why no one in the Biden administration has been held accountable for the colossal failure. Biden himself has continued to shirk responsibility, claiming he was “handcuffed” by the agreement Trump signed in 2020. He appears to want the credit for pulling American troops out, yet none of the blame for how it was handled.

Meanwhile, the fallout of these events—the worst humiliation of the U.S. military in generations—continues to play out around the world. The past year has seen a Russian invasion of Ukraine, China rattling its saber over Taiwan, and Iran rushing to put the finishing touches on a nuclear bomb. As bad as Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal was, it looks increasingly possible that we have not yet seen the worst of its effects.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture. 

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PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

I think most intelligent Americans fully understand at this point how the Biden administration completely botched the withdrawl from Afghanistan so badly. So really nothing would be accomplished by rehashing all the many bad and incompetent decisions made by this administration on this topic. Just mourn the 800 or so American citizens left to die at the hands of the Taliban, as we jammed evacution aircraft with completely unvetted Afghan civilians and probably more than a few terrorists that swarmed the airport in those disgraceful days.

As for why no one has been held accountable, it’s the same reason why no senior level Democrat is ever held accountable for their actions no matter the damage done, lives lost or crimes committed. Senior level Democrats are untouchable and as such are beyond being held accountable. For them, this was just another day at the office, as they go from creating one crisis to another on the taxpayer dime.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

DICTATOR Beijing biden SURRENDERED to TERRORIST and got 13 U.S. MARINES KILLED and ABANDONED OVER 400 AMERICANS.
One word fits his actions; TREASON.

CLIFFORD F GERACI
CLIFFORD F GERACI
1 year ago

It will get worse as ISIS-K & AL QUIDA get stronger. Many innocents will die.

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

EVERYTHING Jackass Joe TOUCHES ends up as a DISASTER! . . . If he doesn’t destroy our country first, Jackass Joe Biden WILL GO DOWN IN AMERICAN HISTORY as the WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!! . . . And ANYBODY with Common Sense and half a brain KNOWS IT!

Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
1 year ago

The Biden regime showed the world what to expect of them, the night the military was told to depart without even notifying our allies.

JEFFREY JONES
JEFFREY JONES
1 year ago

Arrest the whole biden administration for treason and murder!

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

Biden was handed a situation where a well-organized, competent withdrawal plan was all set up for him to follow. President Trump, whom the enemy respected and feared, had everything brilliantly planned. However, Biden, who hates President Trump with blind and jealous rage, refused to follow President Trump’s advise. Biden botched everything up in an incompetent and treasonous manner.
How Biden is allowed to remain president, with all his incompetence and lying, is impossible to accept by many Americans. Even most of my progressive friends and relatives recognize Biden’s horrible withdrawal from Afghanistan. Many good and innocent people are needlessly suffering and dying.

David
David
1 year ago

Biden deserted those people because China told him to drop what he was doing and get out now!

Jeb
Jeb
1 year ago

People and governments worldwide, including Americans, very simply, cannot trust the WH cabal to protect, defend, and have our backs. People only need to back in to a buzzsaw one time to learn. It truly is this simple, total lack of trust.

Gloria
Gloria
1 year ago

Only one thing is needed – GET HIM OUT OF HERE!!! I have a 7 year old grandson that no doubt could do aa more humane and better job than this corrupt, evil excuse of a man.

Mike Cajohn
Mike Cajohn
1 year ago

A total embarrassment to our country. General Miley, SecDef Austin and sec Tate should have been called to resign their office(s). Not one person was held accountable for this fiasco. Maybe our top leaders in Congress should have resigned or better yet, our clueless president and Vice President. Nobody took responsibility of this shame. If you wore a uniform and made this decision, you would have been court martialed for this shameful act. Remember, these individuals who I called out has an additional 13 members of our armed forces blood on their souls. The twelve Marines and one Soldier, who lost their life’s, is because of the stupidity of the decision to leave Afghanistan the way we did. God rest their souls.

Gabe Hanzeli
Gabe Hanzeli
1 year ago

yup it was a screw up by hte democrats.

to be fair milley and biden were busy playing pocket pool and did not have time to plan anything.

jocko
jocko
1 year ago

ALL libs ARE CANCEROUS AND ARE THE ENEMY OF OUR NATION

jocko
jocko
1 year ago

THE NOW fbi = KGB

Michael
Michael
1 year ago

The problem is Biden is a moron and a self centered Pain in the a$$.

Barrett Smith
Barrett Smith
1 year ago

Biden has moved on. That was what? A year ago!

Hal
Hal
1 year ago

The Taliban are a godless, devil-loving, organization. We can only hope they know for sure that if they mess with the USA or its people, there will be severe consequences they will suffer as a result. And that would include savage infiltration/invasion of neighboring countries if such countries need assistance in applying reprisals, etc..

James Jensen
James Jensen
1 year ago

The Taliban is now the fifth LEADING arms dealer in the world. Can you imaging a parking lot with 70,000 Hum-Vees in it? My neighbor got a big hummer a couple of years ago, and I spotted him at the local gas station, waved at him, he left and I meandered close enough to see how much gas he put in that crate. $5.00 and 1.1 gallons.

Denise
Denise
1 year ago

The Taliban do what the Taliban do…they’re straight from the pits of hell….anyone with two brain cells knows it. The most egregious evil is Biden and his “handlers” the demorats (and rinos who’re even more despicable) who’re determined to destroy any vestige of our Constitutional Republic, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and flat out our freedom. Of course first the budding regime must disarm We The People…Hitler before the hideous tortures and slaughter of over 6 million Jews and others they deemed “undesirable” forced the Jews to register their firearms. The gestapo knew exactly where to go to terrorize them, herd them into cattle cars and lock them in the most inhumane prisons. Then came the gas chambers.
It’s not about the Taliban or any one thing. It’s about the evil that’s bleeding this nation to death of everything we hold sacred, the evil that will stop at nothing to become dictators, the evil determined to ramp up population control, reduce us to sheep and rule on the rubble.

Enuf Said
Enuf Said
1 year ago

This will cease to be important when Biden learns how to ride a bicycle!!

Marie Langley
Marie Langley
1 year ago

Biden probably doesn’t even remember it. He obviously didn’t care about leaving billions of dollars of military equipment and abandoning all the Americans and the Afghans who were helping us. He is disgusting and despicable. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could marry him. She’s probably the same mindset. Just like Hunter tweeted a few years ago “she is a c—“. Not that his opinion matters but she probably is. This needs to be brought up time and time again from now until the 2024 election!!!!! It’s treasonous what he did.

Mimi
Mimi
1 year ago

Biden moved on the day after the fiasco. That was evident as he stood on the tarmac the day our dead soldiers coffins were brought home, and looked at his watch every time he saluted a coffin. I was so disgusted watching him looking at his watch like he was wondering how much longer till lunch and ice cream. I can’t imagine how awful that must have made the families feel as they watched those coffins come off the plane, and the president who caused their deaths was checking his watch. So rude and insensitive. I’ll never ever forget it.

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