President Biden’s no-win scenario

I met a woman at a hair salon one day, and we began talking about new aches, pains, and other issues that develop as we age. She said that her father gave her some sage advice: “Getting old is not for sissies.” Neither is being President of the United States. Joe Biden is currently embroiled in the Afghanistan debacle, and he finally addressed the nation, stating that we cannot continue to fight a war that Afghanistan is not willing to fight itself. He reminded us that we have spent $3 trillion fighting a war that technically has nothing to do with us.

In addressing the nation, President Biden said that he stands by his decision to withdraw the troops. He went on to explain that we were never in Afghanistan for nation building and that our goal was to prevent another terrorist attack on the U.S. President Biden further said that former “president” Trump had negotiated a deal with the Taliban that American troops would be removed by May 2021. President Biden said that he had two choices: Honor that agreement or remain in Afghanistan and do battle with the Taliban during their “spring fighting season.” He admitted that the Taliban takeover occurred must faster than anticipated, and Afghanistan leaders “gave up and fled the country.” His most telling statement was: “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.” As terrible as all this sounds, he really had no choice.

We cannot continue to allow our troops to fight and die for countries that do not want to help themselves. Yes, there will be innocent casualties, as there always are in wars. No matter how you look at them, wars are a horrible part of life, and in some countries, they are common as factions fight for power. The funny thing about this whole situation is that all the Republicans are rallying to blame Biden—including Rick Scott wanting to invoke the 25th Amendment—when this deal was brokered by Trump. According to Business Insider (“BI”), that deal allowed the Taliban to strengthen its position against the Afghanistan government. As BI points out, this fact was left out of the Republican criticisms of Biden. As quoted by BI, Mitch McConnell said that the “responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of our current Commander-in-Chief.” Wrong. Trump made the deal; Trump created the problem. In fact, Trump had already decreased the number of U.S. military in Afghanistan, so the withdrawal was already underway. One Afghanistan officer told Washington Post that Trump’s arrangement with the Taliban “demoralized Afghan troops” and that they felt “a Taliban takeover was inevitable.”

At this point, it does not really matter who is “at fault” in this. The U.S. has spent trillions of dollars—including $83 billion to train Afghanistan troops—and U.S. military lost their lives in a war we would never win. It should have been ended long before now.

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