With the catastrophe of the American pull-out of Afghanistan in full force, there are many reports of Taliban fighters resuming their 20 year hiatus assault on women, and the murders of people who worked with the Americans during their involvement in Afghanistan. The accounts are horrific, as one article written in an August 18th, 2021 at CNN (The Taliban Knocked on her door 3 Times. The 4th Time, They Killed Her). It is no surprise that the Taliban were going to go back to their barbaric ideology; 20 years of seething at the loss of Afghanistan in December of 2001 to American and allied forces culminated in their all but assured victory this month. Their triumphant march into Kabul, and the chaos that followed as foreigners, former American employees and Afghanis fearful of Taliban rule pressed to the airport to leave the country, has boxed President Biden into a corner. He set a date of August 31st as the day all American forces leave the country, and that date is looking to be an almost impossible one to keep. The Taliban will not negotiate on the withdraw of American forces, and seem tense with anticipation as the date draws nearer. In effect, the Americans are abandoning their former allies in Afghanistan. A tarnish that will leave a sour taste in the mouths of former key Afghani contractors who have helped the Allies since 2001.
Yes, it did begin with Trump, but Biden will need to claim responsibility for the mess that is now America’s shameful retreat at the hands of the Taliban.
Former President Donald Trump stated he wanted to pull out of Afghanistan by May of 2021. His defeat at the polls did not make that happen. But what Trump did do, and people have seem to forgotten, is abandon another group that helped the Americans in their fight against ISIL, the Kurds.
In October 2019, then President Donald Trump made the decision to pull support away from the Kurdish fighters who had helped in the war against ISIL. The Turks, longtime enemies of the Kurds (who have been fighting for autonomy in Eastern Turkey for centuries, but becoming organized in 1978), massed their soldiers on the border of Syria and Turkey, waiting for the Americans to pull their support, with the full intentions of attacking the Kurds the minute the American advisors left. And that is what Turkey did. The U.S. pulled out of Syria on October 6th; by October 9th the Turks launched airstrikes into northern Syria, killing hundreds of civilians and displacing over 300,000 people.
Both Trump and Biden need to own their mistakes. The abandonment of allies in times of conflict is treacherous, deceitful and traitorous. The reasons we went to both Afghanistan and Syria may be debated, but we were there. And we abandoned people we were there to help. This should not be the conduct of the lone superpower of the planet.
How can America ever be trusted again? Who will come to our side in a time of need, when we have a track record of ditching allies when they need us the most?
We have much work to do to regain our standing in the world.