I want South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham to be very, very wrong about Afghanistan, but I don’t live under any delusion about who or what the Taliban is. Graham’s prediction about the future of Afghanistan and our involvement in it, I fear, will prove correct.
As reported by The Hill, Graham told the BBC that America will be going back to Afghanistan in the near future:
“We will be going back into Afghanistan,” Graham predicted. “We’ll have to because the threat will be so large.”
He warned that Afghanistan will become “a cauldron for radical Islamic behavior,” despite assurances from Taliban leaders that they will not allow the country to become a safe haven for groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS like it was before the 9/11 attacks, which prompted the U.S. to invade 20 years ago.
He predicted that the Taliban are “going to give safe haven to al Qaeda who has ambitions to drive us out of the Mideast writ large and attack us because of our way of life.”
“We will be going back into Afghanistan as we went back into Iraq and Syria,” he added.
To be clear, I was one of the people who really wanted to leave Afghanistan and had been saying so for years. I knew our cultural differences would hardly allow for a western-style government to take any kind of real form there, at least not for decades more. As I’ve written previously, withdrawal should have come, but it should have come with far more care and redundant safety measures than what we did up and leave with, which was effectively the word of terrorists that they’d be good.
The deal, as Trump was going to have it, was that the Taliban were forbidden from importing terrorists into the country and would make peace deals with the Afghanistan government. Violating these, and other rules would result in the Qassem Solemani treatment, where you go from an important terrorist one day to a nice atomized mist the next. That is if soldiers with American flag patches on their arms didn’t knock on your door first.
Biden withdrew so fast it would make the Roadrunner blush. Absolutely no protections and reassurances were in place, just Americans, allies, and a number of good boys.
This is going to allow ideological fanatics of all stripes to flood into Afghanistan and begin preparing for their next attack on everyone they consider an enemy, which is everyone, but particularly us. This talk about how the Taliban will give shelter and aid to groups like Al Queda is moot. They’re different groups, but its members flit between one group to the next at their convenience. Today Taliban, tomorrow ISIS-K.
Biden all but guaranteed an attack will be carried out on American soil from terrorist groups that organized inside Afghanistan, and when that does happen, you can bet we’ll be going back in to destroy and pacify, expending trillions of dollars and American lives.
Graham may be giddy that we’re going back to Afghanistan. He always liked the idea, but I don’t. That said, I think he’s right.