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There’s chaos and risk in Afghanistan exit, but Biden critics are getting it mostly wrong

We have no ongoing security interest in Afghanistan, and we don’t send troops everywhere to protect women and human rights. We do that in other ways

August 30, 2021

By David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf

(USA TODAY) ~ The intellectual dishonesty in critiques of how President Joe Biden is handling the U.S. departure from Afghanistan has been off the charts. That’s not to say some of them are not warranted. They certainly are. The swift fall of Kabul to the Taliban was predictable, and there is a case that we should have been better prepared for it. And there is no doubt that the risks we faced were great, as shown by the Kabul airport attack last week that claimed the lives of at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops.

But some of the arguments we are hearing are indefensible. Among the worst:

1. Biden owns this.

No. The authors of 20 years of war own this. The corrupt Afghan government and the Afghan military who stood down own this. The Trump administration that set the deadlines, drew down the troops, left behind the materiel and released up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners owns this.

2. Well, at least he owns the chaos surrounding our exit.

No. There’s no way that the Taliban regaining control would not have led to chaos with many thousands of Afghans seeking to escape the rule of a thug regime. Whenever we began to airlift folks out, it would have started.

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