The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan is an unmitigated disaster.
It is devastating to the Afghan people. The Taliban is among the most barbaric forces in the world. Its perverted version of radical Islam is once again being forced upon innocent people, with summary execution for those who oppose it. Millions of lives will now be savaged or lost.
It is heartbreaking for the thousands of American servicemen and women, my husband Michael among them, who risked their lives in Afghanistan to keep the Taliban from power. I thank God Michael came home safely. Many did not. Their sacrifices mattered, but they appear to matter less now.
These epic moral dimensions of President Biden’s failure must never be minimized. But there are also massive strategic dimensions for America’s national security that should draw our attention going forward. The cost of national humiliation is not cheap.
First, consider the fate of the brave Afghans who assisted the American cause. The Taliban will kill them first.
"Too little, too late" does not even begin to describe Biden’s pathetic attempts to rescue them from the chaos that followed his April announcement that all U.S. forces would quickly leave the country.
This fiasco sends the unmistakable message to future allies that we won’t have their backs. When you treat friends like that, you end up with no friends.
Second, remember why we went to Afghanistan in the first place. Of all the horrendous governments in the region, it was Taliban-led Afghanistan that provided the most reliable safe haven for Al Qaeda to plot the 9/11 attack on America. Because of President Biden’s ineptitude, on the twentieth anniversary of the worst ever attack on our homeland, the Taliban flag will once again fly over the Afghan seat of government.
There is no doubt that a Taliban government poses a far greater security threat to America than any Afghan government of the last twenty years. They aided and abetted the last major terrorist strike on our country.
They now have a clear opening to do it again.
Biden claims we have "over-the-horizon" capabilities to stop terrorist activities. Sure we do. But it’s naïve nonsense to believe that is anywhere near as effective as intelligence, air, and logistics capabilities on the ground.
We had a capable counter-terrorism operation in Afghanistan and Biden gave it all up. That makes us undeniably more vulnerable to terrorist attacks today.
Lastly, America’s interests around the world are badly diminished. China, Russia, and Iran closely watch what we do.
A weak America encourages China to swallow Taiwan. A retreating America gives Russia a green light to invade Ukraine. A disgraced America signals to Iran that we are not serious about defending Israel against the ayatollah’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Biden policies already showed tremendous weakness. Caving into Russia on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, embracing the Chinese Olympics which should be known as the Genocide Olympics, and begging Iran to take our cash and return to the disastrous nuclear deal, all showed our enemies what Biden’s foreign policy is made of.
The Afghanistan embarrassment confirms it. America is less safe today.
We will be paying a large price for this debacle for a long time.
What should we do next?
First, we must get every American out of Afghanistan safely. Biden should make clear to the Taliban that U.S. forces will not leave the country with even one American left behind.
Second, we must not give the Taliban the legitimacy of American recognition or aid. It is not a legitimate government, and no amount of embrace from China and Russia will make it so. We should stop the Taliban from taking the Afghan seat at the United Nations.
Finally, America’s credibility requires some serious clean-up. Biden’s professed interest in human rights is in shambles. His oft-proclaimed desire to work more closely with our allies is now laughable. His posture toward our enemies is dangerously weak.
Most importantly, as a people, we must recover the lost feeling about what it means to be American and what our country stands for.
We must not allow the surrender in Afghanistan to cripple our national will. When we are a unified and strong nation, there is no more powerful force on earth.