Joe Kenney decided it was time to lay all of the problems of Afghanistan at the feet of President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. Evidently, he conveniently forgot that Presidents Bush and Trump had a hand in what has happened in Afghanistan.
Joe Kenney is right about the beginning, We did go into Afghanistan originally to get Osama bin Laden, but then President Bush decided to stay longer and make the country into a democracy.
That was where our involvement went off the rails. Afghanistan is made up of clans spread out all over the countryside, and most of the people didn’t have any desire to live under a democracy. It only worked as long as our military continued to fight over there and we continued to pour billions of dollars into the country every year.
Americans were tired of having our soldiers serve and die in this 20-year war and spending trillions of dollars in this foreign land where the likely hood that it would survive was always in question.
Seventy-five percent of the American people want us out of Afghanistan. President Trump started the real exit from the country during his term and there were only 2,500 troops in the country when President Biden took office. Trump had Pakistan release the former Taliban leader from jail so he could negotiate a settlement with him.
Trump was going to have all of the troops leave the country by May 1, and he made no provisions for the Americans or our Afghan allies to get out of the country, and now we see the result of his inaction.
President Biden was handed the difficult problem of exiting Afghanistan and cleaning up the mess left by Trump with no plan or organization of how to get the Americans and our Afghan allies out.
Everyone was surprised that the Afghan government and military collapsed so quickly, and this has really complicated the withdrawal of our Americans and Afghan allies.
Mr. Kenney should know that President Biden isn’t making his decisions in a vacuum; he is listening to the experienced career military advisors who have served through several presidential administrations.
He is listening to their wise advice and acting on it. This exit from Afghanistan was always going to be difficult and messy, and President Trump didn’t make any plans for an organized withdrawal because he and his advisers really didn’t want all of the Afghan immigrants in this country. So President Biden and his administration have had to put together a plan, and the failure of the Afghan government has just made it more complicated.
Bagram Airfield was closed because the military decided that it would be too hard to protect with only a small number of troops. President Biden has had to send more troops in just to exit the country.
President Biden has evacuated over 115,000 people out of Afghanistan which is no small feat under the circumstances. The withdrawal hasn’t been perfect, but given the conditions on the ground and the constantly changing circumstances, it has gone as well as can be expected.
When Joe Kenney and the other Republican politicians criticize President Biden, they are really criticizing all of the hardworking and dedicated service men and women that are doing exceptional work to evacuate thousands of people from Afghanistan.
Joe’s letter was published on the day that 13 young soldiers were killed. Just because Joe served in Afghanistan doesn’t mean he knows what is happening over there now.
Joe shouldn’t be trying to make political points by criticizing our withdrawal efforts, especially while our servicemen and women are dying doing the work. Instead, Joe should be supporting America and the dangerous work of our service men and woman as they complete our exit from Afghanistan and ending this long war.
Brian Lombard lives in Wolfeboro.