Fred Fleitz: Biden is a threat to our national security. Congress, will you keep us safe?

Biden’s abrupt Afghanistan withdrawal was a catastrophe for Afghanistan, the US and the world

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In one of the most tin-eared and imbecilic speeches ever given by a U.S. president, Joe Biden claimed Tuesday that the sudden withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan that he ordered without a plan and without notifying the Afghan government and America’s allies was an "extraordinary success."   

Let’s stipulate that Biden’s reckless withdrawal from Afghanistan that cost the lives of 13 U.S. servicemen and left Americans behind can in no way be called an extraordinary success.   

The truth, as The Wall Street Journal said, is that Biden and his advisers "have decided that the only way out of this debacle is to lie about it, blame everyone else and claim that defeat is really a victory." 


Biden’s abrupt Afghanistan withdrawal was in fact a catastrophe for Afghanistan, the United States and the world. At the same time, it was a major victory for radical Islamist terrorists, the radical Islam movement and America’s adversaries around the world. 

Biden left Americans behind in Afghanistan, probably far more than the 100 to 200 his aides are claiming. Assurances by the president and his aides that the U.S. will get them out are hard to take seriously. These Americans likely will be used as hostages by the Taliban to extort ransom from Washington. 


Biden severely damaged America’s reputation as a strong and reliable ally by blaming the Afghan government and military for the consequences of his chaotic withdrawal. Biden stubbornly refused to extend the withdrawal date despite pleas from our allies – including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – that they needed more time to get their nationals and Afghan citizens who assisted them out of the country. This is why the U.K. Parliament on Aug. 18 condemned Biden for his reckless withdrawal decision.   

To salvage the disastrous security situation caused by Biden’s decision, the U.S. military was forced to rely on the Taliban for security at the Kabul airport. This probably resulted in the Aug. 26 suicide bombing that killed 13 U.S. troops.  

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The U.S. not only shared intelligence with the Taliban, we also shared information on Americans and Afghan citizens with green cards and SIV visas, supposedly so the Taliban could help these people evacuate. It’s likely the Taliban will instead use this information as a "kill list" to track down and execute these Afghans for assisting the U.S. 

Biden’s reckless withdrawal made the Taliban the best-armed terrorist group on earth by leaving behind an estimated $80 billion in arms, including 358,000 assault rifles, 16,000 night-vision goggles, 64,000 machine guns, 22,000 Humvees and 33 Blackhawk helicopters. This represents a security and intelligence nightmare. These arms likely will find their way to other terrorist organizations and the more sophisticated weapons probably will be sold to Russia, China and Iran.   

Assertions by Biden aides that U.S. economic leverage, resolutions passed by the U.N. and expectations by the global community will convince the Taliban to not support terrorism and respect human rights – especially the rights of Afghan women – are laughable The Taliban is primarily driven by its extreme Islamist ideology. It does not care what the global community thinks of it.   

Biden is now seen in America and abroad as the weakest U.S. president in modern history. 

Taliban leaders also know that Russia and China abstained on a recent U.N. Security Council resolution calling on them to live up to pledges to let people leave Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal. Russia, China, Iran and other U.S. adversaries will happily fill the gap left by America’s departure and provide it with economic aid. 

Despite the Taliban’s pledge that Afghanistan would never again host international terrorist groups and Biden’s inaccurate claim that al Qaeda had been eradicated from Afghanistan, it is very likely the country will again become a major terrorist safe haven.

The Pentagon confirmed that the Taliban released thousands of ISIS-K prisoners when it took control of Bagram air base.  The Taliban never cut its ties to al Qaeda and this terrorist group maintained a presence in Afghanistan throughout the U.S. presence in the country. Al Qaeda leaders who sought refuge in Pakistan and Iran reportedly have returned to Afghanistan.   

When ISIS created the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq during the Obama administration, radical Islamists were emboldened to stage several major acts of terrorism, including more than 300 injured in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris in 2015. Would-be Islamist fighters flocked to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS from around the world. We may soon see a similar situation in Afghanistan. 

Assertions by Biden and his aides that the U.S. will be able to effectively counter terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan with an "over the horizon" capability – drones and satellites – are not credible. Without a base in Afghanistan or in a nearby country, U.S. drones will need to fly eight hours from the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Sea to reach terrorist targets in Afghanistan.  The U.S. also lacks on-the-ground intelligence to help conduct these drone strikes.   

This means not only that over-the-horizon drone attacks in Afghanistan are likely to be ineffective, but that the U.S. may also need to send ground forces back into the country if it is used to stage a future deadly terrorist attack again the United States or its allies.   

We also need to worry about how Biden’s reckless withdrawal from Afghanistan, stiffing of U.S. allies over the pullout, and refusal to take responsibility for his decision are signals of his weakness and lack of resolve that will be exploited by China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and other U.S. adversaries. This enormous embarrassment for our nation may be interpreted by Beijing that now is the time to invade Taiwan. Moscow may conclude it can get away with invading Ukraine. North Korea – and maybe Iran – might risk conducting nuclear tests.   

We know from history that strong and decisive American presidents like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump greatly promoted American and international security and weak presidents like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama undermined it. Joe Biden’s Afghanistan fiasco, along with his other ill-advised national security policies and his signs of mental decline, mean Biden is now seen in America and abroad as the weakest U.S. president in modern history.   


Since Biden cannot be easily removed for political reasons, it is vital that Congress act on a bipartisan basis to protect our nation from Biden’s incompetence with extreme pressure on the administration to replace the president’s top national security officials – especially Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas – so Biden can be surrounded by highly qualified and principled experts who will not tolerate more of his irrational national security decisions.   

Biden’s Afghanistan debacle proves he is extraordinary threat to U.S. security. Congress needs to address this threat ASAP.