Biden Will Leave 650 Troops in Afghanistan as Taliban Double Their Territory Since His Withdrawal Announcement
The Afghanistan withdrawal is underway. It's all a matter of how you define "withdrawal".
Biden declared that, "it's time to end the forever war" and that "it's time for American troops to come home."
"While we will not stay involved in Afghanistan militarily, our diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue. We’ll continue to support the government of Afghanistan. We will keep providing assistance to the Afghan National Defenses and Security Forces," Biden said in his big speech.
It's official now. Withdrawing means downsizing. The forever war is over and continues. It's time for American troops to come home, except for those who don't. We'll have 650 soldiers in Afghanistan, but they won't be involved military.
Roughly 650 U.S. troops are expected to remain in Afghanistan to provide security for diplomats after the main American military force completes its withdrawal, which is set to be largely done in the next two weeks, U.S. officials told The Associated Press.
Overall, officials said the U.S. expects to have American and coalition military command, its leadership, and most troops out by July Fourth, or shortly after that, meeting an aspirational deadline that commanders developed months ago.
Much like Obama's wartime strategies, Biden manages to do the wrong thing, for the wrong reason, and in the wrong way.
There's no middle ground. Either defeat the Taliban or get the hell out.
Biden already made the decision to withdraw and the Taliban reacted accordingly by moving to take over Afghanistan.
The Taliban are advancing at lightning speed across Afghanistan as U.S. troops withdraw. They now control a third of the country, are fighting for control of 42 percent more — and may even be slowing their advance on purpose.
A Taliban commander in Ghazni province told NBC News that he and fellow fighters were surprised at the speed of their advance and had avoided capturing some targets so as not to run afoul of the U.S.
According to Afghan media reports, eyewitness accounts and statements from local Afghan officials, the Taliban are advancing in rural areas and near Kabul. They now hold almost twice as much of Afghanistan as they did just two months ago, raising fresh doubts about whether the Afghan government can survive once U.S. forces depart by Sept. 11.
If the Biden administration doesn't want another Benghazi, it needs to pull troops, contractors, and all diplomats and aid workers out.
Since May 1, days after President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops, the Taliban have captured 69 of the country's 407 districts, including territory in northern provinces once seen as off-limits for the insurgency and a stronghold for the government, according to Bill Roggio, editor of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies' Long War Journal. The Taliban now hold 142 districts, and are fighting for control of about 170 more.
For now the Taliban are avoiding a direct confrontation with the US, but that's likely to change once they're set to take Kabul. Even assuming there's some sort of negotiated tribal process with various warlords that avoids a full on war, and even if the Taliban avoid targeting American diplomats, there are networks there allied to Al Qaeda and ISIS that will not be showing any such restraint.
Leaving any US forces and personnel in territory controlled by terrorists is a really bad idea.
And the September 11 timetable is an even worse idea. Commemorating the anniversary of the attacks by watching the people we fought seize Afghanistan is a disgraceful idea. But that's what the Biden administration is doing.
Biden is planning to leave Americans there as potential targets and hostages, breaking his promise to withdraw, and creating the worst of both worlds, leaving just enough Americans there to be vulnerable targets, but not enough to be able to fight and win.