Most Americans wanted us to leave Afghanistan, but to do so with dignity. It was not well publicized, or known, that not one U.S. service member had died in Afghanistan in over 18 months (over a year and a half). Now, because of the hasty (and apparently ineptly planned) withdrawal, in the first seven months of the current Administration, 13 service members have been killed by terrorists.
Candidate Joe Biden said, “America needs a leader the world respects.” Apparently, President Biden forgot those words. One of the more serious consequences of his misbegotten Afghanistan withdrawal will be the damage to America’s relationships with its allies, especially European.
The war in Afghanistan was a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) coordinated operation. America and our NATO allies have invested significant blood and treasure in the conflict. That includes tens of thousands of troops over 20 years, more than 1,100 of whom were killed, and billions of dollars spent on the military operation and reconstruction effort.
This was a fulfillment of their obligations after the Sept. 11 terror attack that led to the first invocation of the mutual self-defense clause in NATO’s treaty. European allies also have a stake in preventing a nation of nearly 40 million people from collapsing into a failed state that could trigger more mass migration to Europe or become a new breeding ground for terrorism.
Yet everything about Mr. Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal has been a slap to those allies. They didn’t want the U.S. to leave. But Biden wanted it, so we did. The botched execution has left them, like us, scrambling to airlift thousands of their citizens and thousands more Afghan translators and others who assisted each nation’s war effort.
And now, we have left Americans and Afghan allies behind because of the maladroit withdrawal.