There was detailed coverage of the disaster in Afghanistan, however, most people couldn’t spend much time following the events, so I kept track of all of the significant happenings, as listed below:
- In April of 2021 President Biden announced that the U.S. departure from Afghanistan would not be “conditions-based,” which was the cornerstone of the agreement the Trump Administration made with the enemy, the Taliban. The “conditions-based” provision in the agreement made the Taliban very compliant because it wanted the US to leave Afghanistan ASAP (as soon as possible). Consequently, there were no American soldiers killed by the Taliban for the previous 18 months.
- President Biden changed the May 1, 2021, departure date to August 31, 2021 which is significant because it is the “fighting season” when the Taliban returns to Afghanistan from Pakistan where they spend the winter. In other words, President Biden changed the departure date to the middle of the Taliban “fighting season” and did it so that he could boast this on the upcoming 9/11 anniversary.
- Against the advice of his military advisors, President Biden ordered the US military to leave before the civilians had departed and the billions of dollars worth of expensive bases and buildings (including our Embassy in Kabul) secured and the planes, helicopters, weapons, etc. returned to the US. Instead, the military was ordered out first, $85 billion in military equipment abandoned, and our seven military bases abandoned, relinquishing our military capability from preventing the Taliban from hurting Americans and killing many of our Afghan interpreters, drivers, etc. .
- As of 8/26/21 there were still about 1-4,000 Americans and tens of thousands of Afghani interpreters and helpers in Afghanistan. Most Americans should have been able to eventually get out by August 31 but not most of our Afghani allies since the Taliban went door-to-door searching for them.
- As of 8/26 France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands had retrieved their citizens from Afghanistan. The US had not, but has instead had told everyone to get to the Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul though it was surrounded by the Taliban who were denying access to many. On August 26 a suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. soldiers and over 100 Afghanis around the perimeter of the airport.
- China and Russia, working with the Taliban, reverse-engineered our Black Hawk helicopters and our other American military equipment, in order to copy it.
- Though President Biden blamed the Afghan military for not fighting, over 54,000 have been killed by the Taliban in the last few years defending their country. They began deserting in large numbers only after we abandoned our military bases, knowing that the
U.S. could not provide air cover for their military operations.
- President Biden did not even notify, let alone consult with, the leaders of other countries that had troops in Afghanistan prior to his decision to depart.
- Our adversaries, like Russia and China, were emboldened, which was very bad for Taiwan and Ukraine.
- President Biden stopped all flights with Americans and allies from Kabul airport on August 31.
Weakness invites aggression. After this fiasco, China took over Hong Kong and began seriously threatening Taiwan, Russia invaded Ukraine, and North Korea speeded up its development and testing of missiles that could reach the United States.