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Bloody exit from Afghanistan undermines Biden’s grand plan: end the 9/11 era

Bloody exit from Afghanistan undermines Biden’s grand plan: end the 9/11 era

US President Joe Biden has a goal and he will not be deterred, neither by dead marines, nor by desperate Afghan allies, dismayed NATO partners or by falling polls.

He wants American troops to leave Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that hit the United States on September 11, 2001.

This fall is supposed to be the springtime of the post-9/11 American era, a new beginning for a nation eager to turn the page of two decades of perpetual war.

If so, the era ends as it began: in blood.

The deaths of more than a dozen U.S. servicemen and dozens of other Afghan civilians rocked U.S. evacuation efforts in Kabul on Thursday.

It was the deadliest day for U.S. forces in precisely a decade since a military helicopter crashed in Afghanistan in August 2011.

WATCH | Following the explosions:

Kabul airport explosion victims arrive at hospital

Several victims were taken to hospital in Kabul after at least two explosions near the airport. People had been urged to avoid the area earlier today due to threats of bombing as the US withdrawal from Afghanistan continues. 1:12

A White House spokeswoman suggested it was the worst day of her presidency. Biden himself began a press conference with an understatement.

“It’s been a tough day,” he said.

The suicide bombings left the president to pursue two competing goals, underscoring the complexity of the withdrawal.

One, Biden promised to prosecute the ISIS cell members responsible for the attack: “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

Second, he pledged to leave Afghanistan as planned and continue to withdraw the Americans and their Afghan allies before the August 31 deadline.

The United States said it was working with the Taliban to limit threats at Kabul airport. Here, members of the Taliban stand in front of a photo of their leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, in Kabul on Thursday. (Reuters)

Biden showed no regrets about ending a mission that cost billions of dollars, and kill thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of Afghans.

“It was time to end a 20 year war,” he said Thursday.

Biden suffered quick political damage.

Any dip in its opinion polls leaves Democrats in great danger of losing control of Congress in next year’s midterm legislative elections.

And immerse it a; Biden’s net approval rating plummeted 10 percentage points this month in an average of surveys compiled by the RealClearPolitics site.

A newborn baby is taken care of on Monday during a US C-17 evacuation flight. Biden says he will continue to fly Americans and Afghan civilians, despite the attacks. (Document via Reuters)

Part of that decline could be attributed to the worsening pandemic, although most of the change occurred in the days after the Taliban took Kabul.

The poll also reveals America’s bad mood over Afghanistan.

Different surveys to suggest The Americans agree to end the mission; less than a quarter, however, believe Biden is handling the pullout well.

Al-Qaeda still present

Thursday’s attacks underline that terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, remain in the country – a point already raised at the United Nations reports.

Critics had warned for weeks, including some in Biden’s party, that the pullout was happening too quickly and with too little coordination with the allies.

One of those critics said the attacks demonstrated the risk of trusting the Taliban to rule the country.

“The Taliban promised they would secure the perimeter [around the airport]. They didn’t, ”tweeted Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and not particularly partisan Republican congressman.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Taliban chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and his peace negotiating team during talks in Doha, Qatar, November 21, 2020. (Patrick Semansky / Reuters)

“Obviously, our exit did not end the ‘Endless War.’ The enemy gets a vote, too.”

Biden has made it clear his determination to see Afghanistan in his rearview mirror.

This fall, he wants to focus on the road ahead – both metaphorically and, in the case of his $ 1 trillion signing infrastructure bill, literally.

His party has set a target next month to surpass several trillions of dollars invoices through Congress, which would enact most of its national program: new highways, bridges, electric vehicles, a green electricity network, universal daycare, family leave and immigration reform.

On foreign policy, Biden says it’s time to shift his country’s focus and resources to the great emerging challenge of competing with China.

In a sense, he shares the goals of his predecessors.

3 presidents, 1 common goal

Despite all their obvious differences, recent U.S. presidents have taken office with a pair of broadly similar goals.

One is to end costly foreign wars and spend more of America’s wealth in the country, on national causes.

The other is to divert attention from old entanglements in the Middle East and Afghanistan to new priorities in Asia.

Donald Trump dedicated his inaugural speech to this vision.

Trump lamented how the United States had embarked on costly nation-building exercises abroad, while neglecting American needs.

Barack Obama, in his post-presidential memoir, says Joe Biden was the senior adviser who made the most efforts to dissuade him from sending an influx of troops to Afghanistan. (Jason Reed / Reuters)

He promised a new America-focused attitude and planned to spend historic sums on road infrastructure.

On the foreign front, Trump has finally achieved an agreement with the Taliban for the American withdrawal. His presidency ended before the withdrawal, and Biden is succeeding.

Trump’s presidency also ended without adopting his coveted infrastructure plan.

Trump, however, shifted the focus of U.S. foreign policy eastward – for compete with china, and who survived his presidency.

Barack Obama, for his part, spoke of a so-called fulcrum of foreign policy, towards new priorities in Asia.

His view of the Middle East as a drain of American attention has been emphasized in a long interview with L’Atlantique late in his presidency, in which Obama made a point of talking about a brilliant young inventor he had just met in the Philippines.

The interviewer wanted to talk about ISIS and Obama lamented that the United States was missing out on economic opportunities because it was too distracted by “malicious, nihilistic, violent” adversaries.

Obama ended up sending additional troops to Afghanistan in 2009 and has written about the intense behind-the-scenes debates involving that decision.

What Biden told Obama about Afghanistan

Obama identifies, in his post-presidential memoirs, the main adviser who tried to make him reconsider the Afghan stimulus plan: Biden.

Biden lost faith in the mission a lot years ago.

Obama writes that his vice president returned dismayed from a trip in 2009 and an unpleasant meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

As Pentagon officials demanded a raise, Biden backed down.

“He saw Afghanistan as a dangerous quagmire. Obama writes in his memoirs, A promised land.

“Joe caught up to me and grabbed my arm. ‘Listen to me, boss,’ he said. ‘Maybe I’ve been in this town [Washington] for too long, but one thing I do know is when these generals try to pack a new president. He brought his face a few inches from mine and whispered on stage, ‘Don’t let them get you stuck.’ “

And we are here today.

Biden will do what his predecessors did not. He will leave Afghanistan – even if that means some Afghan allies will be left behind; some members of the British Parliament condemn him; some Canadians get stuck; and its public approval numbers are leaking.

He wanted to end the post-September 11 era. The bloody chapter in US history began with suicide attacks on Americans and Americans swearing to kill terrorists.

And it will end like that too, if it is, in fact, the end.

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