Bolling: Thoughts On Afghanistan

By Bill Bolling

I must admit that I am angered by the manner in which the Biden administration has managed our withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is hard to imagine that this entire situation could have been handled any worse than Biden and company have handled it.

I understand the desire to bring our troops home, but sometimes that is simply not the right decision. And if you are going to withdrawal from an engagement like the one we had undertaken in Afghanistan, you have to be very careful to do it the right way.

Biden and company have failed on every level. As a result of their malfeasance:

* A democratically elected government has been overthrown by a group of radical, evil, Islamic extremists.

* Islamic terrorists, our sworn enemies, now have a safe haven to reestablish operations and plan future terrorist attacks against the U.S. at home and abroad.

* They abandoned hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. military assets and allowed them to be captured by our enemies.

* They have created a humanitarian crisis, where thousands of Afghanis are now fleeing their country, and those left behind, especially women and young girls, will face certain abuse and oppression at the hands of the Taliban.

* They allowed the Taliban to take over Kabul before our citizens and soldiers could be evacuated.

* As a result of their negligence, 15 American service members, and 150 Afghanis have been killed in a predictable and preventable terrorist attack.

Perhaps the most disappointing reality in all of this is that it didn’t have to happen. Let me explain.

Earlier this year President Biden considered cancelling our withdrawal from Afghanistan because the Taliban had not complied with the conditions of the withdrawal agreement that was mistakenly negotiated by President Trump in 2020, and because of stated concerns that the Afghan military could not hold back the Taliban without strategic, logistic and air support from the U.S. Unfortunately, Biden made the wrong decision, and the results have been catastrophic.

The attached article, published by the left leaning Brookings Institute this spring, warned about what would happen in Afghanistan if the U.S. withdrew prematurely and incorrectly. Their warnings were dismissed, and the U.S., Afghanis who craved democracy and freedom, and the free world, have paid the price.

The malfeasance of the Biden administration in managing the Afghan withdraw is the worst foreign policy mistake in 50 years. It will long be a stain on our country, and the damage it has done to our image, credibility and security is immeasurable.

What’s done is done, but I hope we will not forget how badly this has been handled. I pray that we get our people home before the situation gets even worse.

Bill Bolling served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 2006-2014. He now teaches government and politics at George Mason University and the University of Richmond.

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