The ignominious national-security calamity of the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan demands an accounting, and it should start at the top, argues the WSJ.
The catalogue of strategic and military misjudgments that led to this ignominious day are many, and they flow from the current President of the United States. He insisted on a rapid, complete departure, despite the recommendation of most advisers to keep a residual force. He insisted on leaving Bagram and other airfields, taking U.S. contractors who were needed to keep the Afghan air force flying.
A Failure of Epic Proportions
After the government fell, Mr. Biden refused to alter his plan in order to create safe spaces beyond the Kabul airport to help with the evacuation. That would have required more troops and Mr. Biden was set on rapid withdrawal to vindicate his original decision.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is already laying the groundwork for this American pleading as he says that the Taliban have reason to cooperate to earn international goodwill and presumably access to foreign aid.
The apt phrase for this is paying diplomatic ransom.
Mr. Biden and his aides have been repeating like a mantra that there will be time for assessing responsibility for what went wrong and why after the evacuation ends. That should start immediately.
The Callousness of Joe Biden
On full display on American TV was Joe Biden’s callousness about the human desperation at the Taliban’s takeover, observes William McGurn at the WSJ.
In the now infamous Aug. 19 interview with ABC News, George Stephanopoulos asked Mr. Biden about Americans seeing Afghans fall to their deaths from the sky while clinging to a departing American plane. “That was four days ago, five days ago,” Mr. Biden snapped.
Leave aside that it had in fact been less than three days.
What does such a reaction say about Joe Biden?
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