Now that the mission to deny terrorists the unrestricted use of Afghanistan for a base of operations has failed, we wonder about how the president plans to deal with the terrorist outbreak that is now sure to come. It is not something we have seen explained by the Administration.
Relatedly, the U.S. has abandoned the strategically crucial airbase at Kandalhar in southern Afghanistan. That base was one of the largest NATO and U.S. coalition installations in the area and was, unceremoniously, simply turned over to the Afghan security forces this past May in the dead of night. It has now been allowed to fall into Taliban hands together with its mountains of military equipment. So the question arises, how will we compensate for the loss this major military asset in the looming confrontations in that part of the world with China and Russia?
It also seems clear that President Biden and most Democrats are fixated on the enactment of their domestic wish list and the unprecedented spending required to fund it. Indeed, there is some nasty talk around town that the president put that agenda ahead of our national security interests. That is, his odd refusal to consider any delays in the Afghanistan withdrawal were rooted in a desire to get us out of Afghanistan as well in advance of the 2022 congressional midterm elections as possible, in order not add to the risk of losing the Democratic legislative majorities before the wish list is fully adopted.
But one does not have to fully subscribe to that hypothesis to appreciate that the Biden team must have considered that a lingering Afghanistan crisis plus a resurgent coronavirus would be a toxic mix to take into the midterms, when a president’s party traditionally usually loses seats.
And with the emphasis on unprecedented domestic spending, exactly what plans are in place to ensure that we have a credible military going forward?
These are not meant to be trick questions. But they are also not meant to be academic ones either.