There’s been some debate as to who’s responsible in this mess the Biden administration has created.
Did the military leadership give him bad advice and that’s why it all went south? Or is it all on Biden and the military leadership is just being cowardly in not resigning and calling it out?
There’s a bigger issue here: Joe Biden doesn’t believe anything has gone wrong. He’s told us he thinks this is all just normal consequences of withdrawal. He’s repeatedly said he’s been right, rejecting that there was anything wrong done. That’s just divorced from reality.
Psaki was asked Friday about members of the Marine Corps criticizing top generals on social media.
Al Jazeera English correspondent Kimberly Halkett asked, “Does [the president] believe he was given bad advice? And will he ask for any resignations of his generals given the high cost of American and Afghan lives?”
“No to both of those questions,” Psaki responded.
So that means he’s endorsing all the actions, refusing to cashier anyone. He’s explicitly endorsed the decisions. It’s all on him now.
Now, as we’ve said there were some incredibly patently bad military decisions here including giving up Bagram Air Base which would have been much better for evacuations and for the protection of the military when they were doing their job. People are dead because Joe Biden rejected that option, saying it would require putting in more troops and that might upset the Taliban. Again, one of things we’ve seen repeatedly with Barack Obama, but much worse with Biden: being risk averse. He wouldn’t even green light the killing of Osama bin Laden. But failure to act can have much more harmful consequences, as we’ve seen, including people taking advantage of you because they know you are risk averse.
There were 2500 troops in Afghanistan when Biden took office. According to reports, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Gen. Austin Miller, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin all wanted keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan to maintain stability that they had been ensuring. It was Biden who wanted them removed, who wanted everyone out. When questioned by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Biden denied he had been told by the military to keep the troops there.
“No they didn’t. It was split. That wasn’t true,” Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos when asked about the recommendation, which was reported by The Wall Street Journal and other outlets in April.
When pressed, Biden was adamant that military leaders did not argue against his plan to withdraw all troops by Sept. 11.
“No,” Biden told Stephanopoulos in the interview, portions of which aired early Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “No one said that to me that I can recall.”
There is responsibility on the military leadership for not doing more to stand in the way of what they had to know were just monstrously wrong decisions. Had any of them resigned and made a big stink, that might have stopped some of the disaster and saved lives. But as LTC Stu Scheller pointed out, they didn’t have the courage to stand up for what was right. He did, by pointing out their failures. He’s been relieved of duty, they are still in charge.
As I pointed out previously, this mess of this withdrawal was intentional by Biden. He always intended to just pull everything out and absorb whatever the consequences were, because he didn’t think there would be a lot of consequences. “F**k that,” he said about obligations to allies, others “got away with it” when it came to Vietnam. Indeed, he’s so old, he was one of the people responsible for the Saigon failure, as well. He had no moral compass then either.
That’s been the whole problem here. The “empathetic” old “unifier” is and always has been a mean old guy who doesn’t really care about anyone other than himself.