Headlines across the country laud President Joe Biden for preparing to announce the end of American involvement in Afghanistan. It is being widely reported that on Wednesday, April 14, the president will declare that the estimated 2,500 U.S. troops in the Central Asian nation will pack up and come home by no later than September 11 this year.
But wait? Readers with a memory longer than that of a somewhat forgetful goldfish may remember that President Trump had orchestrated a deal whereby the troops would leave Afghanistan no later than May 1. This seems to be something that the Biden-backing Fourth Estate is content to bury in the name of helping its top pick build a better legacy.
In March, during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, President Biden warned that it would be “tough” to achieve Trump’s deadline of May 1. He said:
“The fact is that, that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that the president — the former president — worked out. And so we’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision’s going to be — it’s in process now.”
What is the new deal that Biden has worked out that is so much better than Donald Trump’s? Well, firstly, it is a “non-conditional” deal, meaning that the Taliban does not have to commit to doing much of anything – no peace talks, no stepping down acts of violence, etc. And second, the U.S. departure will coincide with the withdrawal of other NATO troops.
Under Trump’s plan, NATO forces would have stayed in place after the U.S. departure, before eventually leaving at a later date. Instead of a measured withdrawal by all outside forces, it will now be a case of here today, gone tomorrow. As everyone knows, there’s no such thing as a group that would seek to fill a power vacuum.
Orwellian Memory Hole
One prominent Washington newspaper hails the withdrawal as a success where three former presidents “failed,” and does not see fit to mention that it was Donald Trump who set the deal for a May pull out until the 19th paragraph of its article. CNN writes that “Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump tried but were ultimately unable to untangle the US from the war in Afghanistan.” But is this true?
All President Biden had to do was not interfere with the plan set in place by his predecessor, and the U.S. would have been out of the region in a little over two weeks from now. Instead, he has chosen to prolong the conflict by another four months and reap the plaudits of being the guy who got it done.
A week is a long time in politics; in global affairs, it is even longer. With four long months ahead, who knows what delays, attacks, and international horse-trading might take place in this extended period? But Joe Biden has jam today.
With the assistance of a Fourth Estate desperate to remove all traces of Trump’s successes, the current president will go down in history as the man who ended a 20-year conflict, instead of the guy who broke a deal with the Taliban and committed America to an unnecessarily prolonged withdrawal for the sake of his own legacy.
Read more from Mark Angelides.