Biden’s decision on Afghanistan came down to one thing. Get out quickly at any cost.
Phase 1 of that decision was a disaster, but it hasn’t stopped him from pushing on to Phase 2 by complying with the Taliban’s deadline to leave Afghanistan by August 31 even if Americans (never mind Afghans with visas) are left behind.
Biden’s bet is that the faster he leaves, the faster he can pivot back to the pandemic identity politics that angry middle-aged suburban resistance cat ladies like Jennifer Rubin live for. Observing Twitter, the loudest voices in defense of Biden’s move have been the Hillary demographic, prosperous suburban women who are quite angry about people who don’t wear masks, but don’t care much about Afghanistan.
This is the demographic that probably gave President Trump the most trouble.
Biden and his people are betting that the media will come around. And parts of it certainly will. Especially by 2022 and 2024 where it won’t matter how many people died in Afghanistan when it’s a matter of stopping Republicans.
But Biden has burned his bridges with a section of the media. Especially foreign correspondents. And plenty of behind-the-scenes people who won’t forget that they and their people were stranded and abandoned.
And NATO allies, especially the UK, will not forget either.
Biden casually inflicted the worst harm on US-UK relations in generations for the sake of optics. Forcing the Europeans to abandon their people will come with a price.
That price won’t be expressed in public forums, but the next time Biden needs anything, he’ll be told to go to hell in the nicest possible way.
Biden doesn’t care about that. But he has no ability to anticipate problems: a basic flaw that Afghanistan exposed. Right now he doesn’t need the UK and the rest of NATO. Tomorrow that may change and none of his phony glad-handling will salvage the mess he made.
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