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President Biden and the chaos in Afghanistan

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Armed Taliban fighters stand next to an Imam during the Friday noon prayer in the Abdul Rahman Mosque in Kabul on August 20, 2021, as the Islamists are swiftly moving to stamp their authority on Afghanistan. (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI / AFP)

Recently, the New York Post published a story on the President Joseph R. Biden’s policy in Afghanistan using a White House circulated picture of President Biden at Camp David seating all alone in a Conference room as Kabul fell to the Taliban to depict the emerging portrait of “a lonesome weak leader”. The article had argued that that image alone will become an effective historical caricature of President Biden as “isolated, feeble and indecisive” President who fiddled as the United States suffered his” worst self-inflicted” foreign policy failure and humiliation in history.

In my view it is an accurate depiction of the past week, a bumbling White House and a President who sure have disappointed most of his ardent supporters like me in the last Presidential election circle. The images coming from Afghanistan is very shameful. Most Americans agree with the policy, that it was a good choice to continue with the last administration’s wind down of the United States involvement in the Afghan war. But President Biden and his advisers failed in the implementation of their first major foreign policy challenge. They announced the withdrawal of American forces in Afghanistan without any thought about possible predictive outcomes such draw down of U. S. presence in the country will have. The net result is the scenes of chaos and impending human tragedy because of the collapse of the Afghan government and forceful takeover by the Taliban.

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A little knowledge of strategic thinking within U.S military and government operation tells me that the President and his team were already in receipt of the policy scenario that just played out several months earlier with fully explained and likely policy courses of action that comes with such intelligence assessment suggesting to the President what to do. But President Biden and his team failed and there is no other way to describe it. As a U.S service member, I have been glued to the TV set every night and just been dumbfounded how President Biden whose strong suite is foreign policy issues could display this level of incompetence in managing the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.  But as a Soldier with personal knowledge of at least over 20 fellow Soldiers who died in operation enduring freedom, the bumbling failure rankles deeply.

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Every American President has a responsibility to make sure that sacrifices of our men in uniform will not have been in vain or have an appearance or perception of having been in vain. I have for instance seen myself replaying the images of the 19-year-old American Soldier who was medically evacuated from Afghanistan to U.S. Regional Military Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany for 100 percent burn injuries in 2009. At the time I was also medically evacuated from Balad, Iraq to Landstuhl, Germany for combat related injuries that led to a Lumber spine surgery. After our surgeries the young Soldier was placed in the same room with me, and I could still hear his inconsolable screams from the pains of 100 per cent burns. Though, he was slated for airlift from Germany to U.S. Army Burn Injury center in San Antonio, Texas, two days after his surgery in Germany he died. Oh my God that young man’s pain and agony haunts me till this day. For me and many others those pictures from Afghanistan pushes to fore the question what did that young Soldier die for? What did he suffer so much unending continuous pain for? What did the over 2000 American service members who died in Afghanistan die for? May God bless America and may the sacrifices of our fallen soldiers never be in vain.

Dike, a former Foreign Affairs Reporter with the Guardian Newspapers and retired United States Army Intelligence Analyst wrote from Atlanta, Georgia USA.

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