In news that surprises no one with two functioning synapses, the Taliban are knocking the snot out of the feckless Afghan government and its even more useless army. It’s not that the Taliban are that good, it’s that the Afghan government is a kleptocratic mess, fielding unmotivated and disloyal troops who simply run when faced with…anything!
Speaking from the deeply embarrassing history of having supported our entry into the insanity that is Afghanistan, it is now abundantly clear that trying to drag an 8th century culture into modernity does not work, especially if having had a taste of the 21st century they decided that living in caves, buggering little boys, treating women like slaves, and killing each other for fun, all in service to a nutty revolutionary political philosophy masquerading as a religion, is much better than indoor plumbing and having all of one’s teeth.
As dumb as our Afghan policy was before the stolen election of 2020, the illegitimate Biden administration is gleefully prancing around, yelling, “Hold My Beer!”
A majority of Americans support withdrawal, but most Americans probably presumed there was at least some coherent strategy for protecting their safety. There is not. The Biden administration withdrew without basic details worked out in advance. The two identifiable tactics as it relates to supporting the Afghan government are ad hoc airstrikes against the Taliban, and a round of utterly humiliating hashtag diplomacy as U.S. leaders are forced to pretend the peace process has any relevance of credibility. This week the administration even threatened that any government taking power in Afghanistan absent the Doha peace process would be internationally isolated. You might have sensed that will not deter the Taliban.
Is there a good policy to be had? Probably the best we could do is play Whack-A-Mole with the Taliban, courtesy of air strikes and careful application of special operations. But the purpose would have to be carefully defined and adhered to: keep them in their caves. There is no other solution to Afghanistan’s problems.
The current pathetic and clueless administration has seized the opportunity to make a bad problem much worse. Soon the Taliban will control all of Afghanistan, and militant Islamists will correctly see it as a safe haven from which to operate.
Sounds like a broken record…and it is. America will once again be branded as the country that sells out its allies and friends, and the group of countries that will trust our word will grow smaller. China will try its hand there, and might even succeed for a little while. They are even more brutal than the Russians, and care even less about sternly worded letters from the UN or the NY Times editorial page.
It will be an exercise in cognitive dissonance and bureaucratic sophistry when Afghanistan finally falls. The Biden administration will probably spin it as a failure of President Trump’s Middle East policy, although I can’t quite figure out the illogic behind that one. They will rise to the occasion however; they might not be able to run a country, but they can lie with the best of ’em!