The ‘humiliating coda’ to America’s longest war
One of Joe Biden’s selling points during the 2020 presidential campaign was how his decades of foreign policy experience would renew America’s standing in the world. Events of recent days have exposed that selling point as a sham — to the point where even those inside his own party are questioning Biden’s judgement in the ‘clearly botched‘ Afghan withdrawal:
It’s the execution of the withdrawal policy, however, that’s under assault — a particular failure given it happened under a president who since the presidential primary boasted he stood out from the pack because of his four decades serving on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and his time on the global stage as vice president.
“Whether the policy was right or wrong,” Klaas said, “the execution was clearly botched.”
That sentiment was echoed by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), a Marine who served four tours in Iraq. “The time to debate whether we stay in Afghanistan has passed, but there is still time to debate how we manage our retreat,” Moulton said in a lengthy statement Sunday. “For months, I have been calling on the Administration to evacuate our allies immediately,” he continued. “The fact that, at this hour, we have not even secured the civilian half of the Kabul airport is testament to our moral and operational failure.”
The end of America’s longest war was supposed to happen quietly. But the chaotic American departure from Kabul suggests that Biden will forever own what is undoubtedly a humiliating coda for a doomed nation-building effort that began shortly after 9/11 and will end shortly before the 20-year anniversary of that tragedy.
The “humiliating coda” to the 20 years of U.S. involvement will lay at Biden’s feet for the rest of his days. But let’s not forget this long conflict encompassed four presidencies, Republican and Democrat alike. There is plenty of bipartisan humiliation to go around.