Weekly Opinion Editorial
BIDEN USING TRUMP AS SCAPEGOAT!
By Steve Fair
Afghanistan is a country in Central Asia, bordered by Pakistan to the east, Iran to the west and China to the north. It is mountainous and landlocked. 40% of the economy is based on agriculture- much of it opium and cannabis. Afghanistan has been the source of many military campaigns and has been called ‘unconquerable’ and nicknamed ‘the graveyard of empires.’
The United States went to war in Afghanistan in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. and our NATO allies successfully drove the Taliban from power to deny al-Qaeda a safe base of operations. For the past twenty years, America and a coalition of over 40 countries have performed a security mission in the country to maintain order. Before he left office, President Trump started to draw down U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
On Sunday, the Taliban took back control of the Afghanistan government. Abdul Baradar, 53, a Taliban leader that was freed from a Pakistani jail three years ago at the request of the Trump administration, is likely to be the new leader. Three observations:
First, this move by the Taliban is not what was agreed to by the Trump administration. Baradar, considered a moderate as opposed to a hardliner, was part of a ‘power sharing’ agreement hammered out in 2019 before Trump left office. Allowing the Taliban to take over complete control of the government wasn’t part of the deal. The Taliban has used Biden’s weak foreign policy to their advantage.
Second, President Biden should take responsibility for this development. His administration was caught completely by surprise by the speed the Taliban took control of the Afghan government. At some point, Biden has to act like he is the POTUS. He is eight months into his term and he is still using Trump as his scapegoat.
Third, the Afghan people must take equity in their own government. Over the past 20 years, U.S. taxpayers have spent nearly a trillion dollars to help train 300,000 Afghan military. Those trained fighters were defeated by a smaller force of more dedicated Taliban warriors. The reason the Taliban can take power is because many Afghans believe they understand their history, culture and values better than the U.S. They could care less about having foreigners interfere in their affairs.
On Sunday, President Biden released a statement saying, “When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. Forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. Forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500. Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies’ Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict. I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.” President Biden said.
President Biden is being disingenuous. He has overturned a multitude of Trump’s executive orders. He hasn’t had any issue moving in a different direction on Trump’s economic, domestic and foreign policy. He is simply using Trump as a scapegoat to deflect the blame for not seeing this disturbing development in Afghanistan.