On Monday, after the United States’ disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan precipitated the country’s fall to the Taliban, President Joe Biden spoke from the White House to defend his actions.
“If anything, the developments in the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision,” Biden said, according to a transcript of the speech.
“American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war, and dying in a war, that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”
He went on to say he was “adamant we focus on the threats we face today in 2021, not yesterday’s threats.”
“Today, the terrorist threat has metastasized well beyond Afghanistan. Al-Shabab in Somalia, al-Qaida in [the] Arabian Peninsula, al-Nusra in Syria, ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia,” he continued. “These threats warrant our attention and our resources.
“I’m deeply saddened by the facts we now face, but I do not regret my decision to end America’s war fighting in Afghanistan,” Biden said
Immediately after the speech, retired Army Gen. Jack Keane joined Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and nailed Biden on two major lies.
Keane said he wanted to “point out a couple of factual errors in those remarks.”
First, Keane pointed out that Afghan forces had for years demonstrated both the willingness and the ability to fight the Taliban — and at great cost. However, Biden had deprived them of key elements needed to continue the battle, particularly air support.
“The Afghans have been fighting the ground war in Afghanistan since 2014, and we’ve been providing air support and intelligence. … They have suffered over 50,000 casualties,” Keane said.
“And in every one of those seven years, they have pushed back successfully on the Taliban offensive that’s occurred every year — at a cost to themselves.”
However, this time around, “the United States said to the Afghan security forces and to their government that we are no longer willing to support your efforts. We are pulling away from you. … That had an incredibly adverse impact on them knowing full well that would be the first time that they’ve ever not had air support and robust intelligence to enable their fighting.”
Keane said that with U.S. support, “what we were able to achieve is a stalemate — imperfect, to be sure,” but better than full Taliban rule, which is what we have now.
While the Afghan government could not defeat the Taliban, Keane said, the Taliban could not defeat the government. That status quo would at least have prevented the country from reverting back to a base for terrorist operations.
Thanks to Biden’s recklessness, the stalemate no longer exists, because the U.S.-supported Afghan government no longer exists.
“We pulled the plug on them and they collapsed. That’s a fact,” Keane said.
Second, he argued that Biden was presenting a false dichotomy to the American people: Either commit huge numbers of troops to Afghanistan or pull out entirely.
“When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban,” Biden said. “The choice I had to make as your president was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season.”
That wasn’t it at all, according to Keane.
“The president is presenting a false choice to us, and he’s misrepresenting what was recommended to him,” Keane said.
In fact, as Keane pointed out, “the recommendation to [Biden] was to maintain the 2,500 forces that were there on our intelligence capability and air power, to continue to sustain that over time and continue to protect the American people from a resurgence of al-Qaida.”
With that U.S. support, Keane suggested, the former Afghan government could have kept al-Qaida — the terrorist group behind 9/11, remember — from expanding beyond the provinces where it was shielded by the Taliban.
In short, by selling out the Afghan government and turning the Afghan people over to the tender mercies of Taliban savages, the president has not only increased the amount of misery in the world (particularly among Afghan women), but he’s also provided a sanctuary for the same terrorist group that launched the single deadliest attack against the U.S. in its history.
Keane summed up the situation bleakly: “What happens now is the world jihadist movement has the biggest celebration day they’ve had since 9/11.”
That’s putting it mildly. As Keane’s remarks made clear, the consequences go much deeper than one day’s disgrace.
Thanks to Biden’s incompetent cowardice, the U.S. is facing a world where its rivals and enemies are stronger — the hard cases in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran are no doubt smiling at the Afghan retreat.
It’s a world where American friends and allies have reason to doubt. What rational leader would bet that the U.S. under Biden will remain faithful to a cause?
An Israel uncertain of American protection could make the calculation that its defense is best left in its own hands. If that happens, Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan could set the stage for an Israel-Iran war.
When innocent blood starts flowing, it will be on Biden’s hands, but the guilt will be spread much, much wider.
Biden clearly had no problem standing before the American people on Monday and saying, “I do not regret my decision.”
The rest of the world is going to have plenty of time to regret it for him.
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