The US failure in Afghanistan

CNN report:

Top American generals warned President Joe Biden that the Afghan military would collapse. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said in essence on Tuesday that both former President Donald Trump and Biden had botched negotiations with the Taliban — and the net result of the US actions was a “logistical success but a strategic failure.”

Generals Milley and McKenzie said that they advised the Biden administration that unless the US kept 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan military would collapse. They also said that the ground commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, provided the same advice.This clearly contradicts what President Biden told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos last month — that the US military didn’t advise him to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.In answer to a question from a senator, Gen. Milley conceded that the abrupt and complete US withdrawal had “damaged” US credibility around the world.Milley also said that both the Trump and Biden administrations made a mistake by putting specific dates on the US withdrawal rather them making it a conditions-based withdrawal.

I recently listened to a podcast which has former US Secretary of State Condi Rice on it. She laid out three simple ways the withdrawal could have been done far more successfully. They were:

  1. Don’t give a specific withdrawal date as that destroys morale for Afghan Govt forces
  2. The US shouldn’t have closed its airbase before the withdrawal was complete. Trying to withdraw through Kabul Airport was a huge mistake.
  3. The withdrawal should have been done during winter when there is basically no fighting by the Taliban, as it is too cold. The insistence on being out by the 9/11 anniversary out PR ahead of safety

Biden now has an average -15% rating on his handling of foreign policy (which was meant to be his strength). In May it was +15% so a huge drop.

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