Thoughts on the state of Afghanistan

Laren Reesman, Staff Writer

“No man left behind” is not simply an American doctrine in times of war; it is an American ideology—an ideology that prompts the U.S. to be a protector and leader on the world stage. America upholds sovereignty for all who seek it because we leave no one behind in pursuit of freedom. President Biden’s recent decision to cease all military and diplomatic presence in Afghanistan goes against both the doctrine and the ideology.

Biden’s decision is one of the worst U.S. foreign policy failures of this generation. He blatantly disregarded his advisors who warned of the complexity of a successful withdrawal and instead lost a twenty-year war in the span of weeks. The Taliban now hold stores of billions of dollars in U.S. military weapons and equipment which they already used against the stranded who helped America in the war effort.* There is footage of a helicopter being used for an execution by hanging a rope to the rails of the chopper, noosing the person and taking off, lynching them in a public spectacle.*Biden could not even end this war peacefully. Thirteen American soldiers died by terrorist’s hand while evacuating U.S. citizens. Terrorists responsible for the deaths of hundreds, even thousands, dare to show their faces again after decades of hiding. The U.S. lost virtually every asset it had in-country, hindering any way to monitor Taliban activity and hold them accountable.We have a responsibility not only to our numerous citizens, informants, translators and allies still in Afghanistan but to the Afghan people who have lived in relative peace for the past twenty years. Women could work and receive an education, and some level of religious freedom existed. Women are now outside the Kabul airport begging to be rescued from a fate of servitude to men and renewed fears of violence for being disobedient. Biden did not just abandon the people in Afghanistan; he abandoned U.S. Afghan War veterans and heroes who died fighting Taliban evil to make a better world for their families and fellow Americans.

No one wants to defend a country that turns its back on them. American sacrifice and bravery exist in systems built upon trust in and respect for the commander in chief. I fear Biden lost both of those in his handling of this crisis.In a way, this policy also turned its back on the 2,977 lives taken in 9/11. The Biden administration chose the twentieth anniversary of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil, and the Taliban had an express role to play in the success of that attack. The U.S. is now closer than it has been since 9/11 of being the target of another large-scale terror attack, yet the Biden administration continues to not only defend this operation but praise it.Never before have I felt this let down as an American citizen due to the blatant disregard for checks and balances, the unnecessary loss of American lives and a complete disregard for one of our key principles that ensures we do everything to not only defend Americans, but all our allies.