We have just witnessed one of the most shameful episodes in American history. Joe Biden has ended our 20-year mission in Afghanistan in the most incompetent and humiliating way possible.
Instead of ensuring the safe removal of American citizens together with Afghan nationals who aided U.S. military efforts, Biden chose to unilaterally withdraw our military forces, abandon $90 billion of American military equipment, and leave the country in the control of Stone Age fanatics.
As an expert with three decades of training Corporate America in the art of negotiation, I am compelled to analyze this watershed event from a negotiating perspective. Two of the basic principles of negotiating are (1) leveraging your strengths against the adversary’s weaknesses, and (2) making your concessions contingent upon receiving substantial concessions in return.
Both of these principles were violated by the Biden administration.
Political commentator Mark Levin has explained that the U.S. successfully prevented Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists at a minimal cost — a small contingent of approximately 2,500 troops backed up by U.S. airpower, supporting NATO forces, and the 300,000-strong Afghan army. Until last week, we sustained zero troops killed over an 18-month period.
We were able to do this because the Taliban were terrified of our military capability. As long as we maintained our presence at the Bagram Air Base, the Taliban were checkmated.
The intelligent way to negotiate a withdrawal would have been to remain at Bagram and continue air support of the Afghan armed forces. If we wanted to extricate American citizens, we could have done it according to our own timetable.
Our overwhelming military power was our strength. The Taliban’s weakness was their fear of American air attacks.
Biden ignored this completely. Under the guise of wanting to be ''diplomatic'' with the Taliban, Biden refused to play his main card and allowed the Taliban to dictate terms.
Why was that insupportable? You can’t expect a diplomatic response from a Stone Age people who think nothing of murdering innocent civilians and enslaving women.
The second negotiating mistake, one that could be expected from a novice negotiator but not from a president, was Biden’s failure to obtain concessions from the Taliban. A competent negotiator never gives up anything without getting something in return.
What did Joe get in return from the Taliban? A meaningless promise that they would not murder the people we left behind.
The same can be said for Biden’s unilateral decision to leave behind billions in equipment that effectively made the Taliban one of the best-equipped military forces in the world. That equipment plus the thousands of unvetted refugees going to the U.S. may pose an even bigger security risk than anything we were facing before in Afghanistan, warned Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
''We really don't know who the people are that they evacuated,'' said Johnson. ''There were thousands of people who just happened to get into Kabul airport. They put them on planes and now they're sending them to America.''
Finally, let me acknowledge my incredulity at the statements coming from Biden and his aides, and parroted by the media, that suggest they did a wonderful thing. ''I would say that this is now on track to be the largest airlift in U.S. history,'' bragged Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki. ''I would not say that is anything but a success.''
To borrow the reaction of a blogger, ''You don’t get to sink the ship and then brag about the number of lifeboats.'' We may have airlifted thousands out of Kabul, but unknown numbers of Americans and our allies have been left behind to be murdered by the most barbaric animals on the planet.
"If there's American citizens left, we're gonna stay to get them all out," Biden promised weeks ago. He lied to us.
Sorry Jen, Biden’s decision is anything but a success. ''For the president to come out and say this is an extraordinary success. I mean, what planet is he living on,'' said Sen. Johnson.
''On planet earth this was an abysmal failure. It's just jaw-dropping to see the fantasy world that the president and this administration is living in,'' he added.
What will Biden do when the Taliban hold Americans hostage and attempt to blackmail us? Will he be manipulated into resending American ground forces?
What negative ramifications will result when our allies no longer respect us and our enemies no longer fear us?
We cannot accept this level of incompetence from the leaders of our country. No one from the president on down has shown any willingness to accept responsibility for the debacle.
Biden claims his decision was unanimously approved by his top military and civilian advisers, who should have insisted on removing our citizens together with Afghan supporters while we still held the military advantage. If I were secretary of defense or chairman of the joint chiefs, I would have resigned before carrying out Biden’s insane order.
What frightens me is that the actual individuals who should be held accountable are unknown. It certainly wasn’t Biden himself — he is nothing more than an actor playing the role of commander-in-chief.
The only individual who comes out of this affair as a hero is Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who sacrificed his career to call for accountability from the top brass. Sadly, he won’t get it.
Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator, negotiation expert and author of eight books including "Tyranny of the Minority: How the Left is Destroying America" and "Trump's Turn: Winning the New Civil War." He is a former U.S. Marine officer, Fortune 500 sales executive and Hollywood movie actor. Read Ed Brodow's Reports — More Here
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