Forced to confront bipartisan anger over the bungled U.S. exit from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden instead gave a speech on why drawing down U.S. troops after two decades war was in the American interest.
In so doing, he missed the point.
Americans aren’t troubled by the withdrawal policy – a majority support it – they are upset by the execution of the exit that occurred on his watch. They did not want to see Afghan allies executed as city after city were overrun. They didn’t want to see desperate Afghan civilians clinging to a C-17 military jets, some falling to their death as planes lofted to the sky. They didn’t expect the capital to fall in six days. And they didn’t expect to hear a top U.S. general warn terror attacks may once again launch from Afghanistan, threatening America.
In his nationally televised speech, Biden made one concession most Americans would agree with: his administration was caught off guard that Afghanistan fell to the Taliban even before the U.S. could get its diplomats, Afghan loyalists and troops out safely.