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Tags: Vietnam | Afghanistan War | Biden | Afghan Debacle

Behind Biden's Catastrophe in Afghanistan

Behind Biden's Catastrophe in Afghanistan
U.S. President Joe Biden is addressing the nation on the US exit from Afghanistan after a failed 20 year war that he'd vowed to end but whose chaotic last days are now overshadowing his presidency. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

Ronald Kessler By Monday, 13 September 2021 03:42 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Explaining President Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, Ted Kaufman, a longtime aide and confidant, told the Washington Post that it goes back to Biden’s aversion to the Vietnam War.

While Biden did not join the antiwar protest movement in his youth, his formative experience growing up was the Vietnam War, Kaufman said.

Increasingly, Biden began to worry about Afghanistan becoming another Vietnam, with protracted battles costing more American lives, Kaufman said.

What Biden misses is that the Vietnam War was founded on a lie: that a Communist takeover of South Vietnam threatened our national security.

As reported in my book “The CIA at War,” in a June 11, 1964 memo to McGeorge Bundy, President Johnson’s national security advisor, John McCone, the director of Central Intelligence, debunked the “Domino Theory,” Johnson’s rationale for prosecuting the war.

“We do not believe that the loss of South Vietnam and Laos would be followed by the rapid, successive communization of the other states of the Far East,” McCone wrote. In a follow-up hand carried to Johnson in April 1995, the CIA director made the same point.

As tens of thousands of Americans died in combat, Johnson continued to prosecute the war, ignoring the CIA’s conclusion that the war was entirely pointless.

What Biden clearly does not understand is that, unlike the Vietnam War when our security was not at stake, maintaining U.S. control of Afghanistan was essential to protecting the U.S. from another 9/11 attack.

“What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al-Qaida gone?” Biden mindlessly said during a White House briefing explaining his decision to withdraw U.S. forces.

“We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al-Qaida in Afghanistan, as well as getting Osama bin Laden. And we did,” Biden said.

The Pentagon immediately contradicted Biden’s claim that al-Qaida is gone from Afghanistan. Moreover, now that Biden has relinquished an entire country to the Taliban, the CIA will be unable to recruit assets there to pinpoint potential threats.

Without an embassy, the CIA will not be able to run CIA officers under diplomatic cover. With ruthless killers running the country, it will be too dangerous for the agency to insert so-called illegals as spies to uncover terrorist plots.

Biden’s claim that the U.S. withdrawal will not be a problem because of its “over-the-horizon capability” to pursue terrorists in Afghanistan is simply dishonest. Without human assets on the ground to penetrate a terrorist plot, no missile from a thousand miles away will ever uncover, much less thwart, a terrorist attack.

Biden’s additional claim that controlling Afghanistan is not necessary, since terrorists are all over the world, is equally bogus. In other countries, local law enforcement and security forces try to uncover terrorist plots. Even Russia cooperates with the U.S. by warning of potential terrorist attacks on the U.S. and its citizens wherever they are located.

Unlike in Afghanistan, the CIA is able to develop assets in other countries. Aside from Afghanistan as now controlled by the Taliban, no country wants to be a launching pad for a direct attack on the U. S.

In contrast to the Vietnam War when 47,434 American soldiers were killed, since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, 2,448 American service members have been killed. Almost the same number of police officers—2,117—have lost their lives in the line of duty over the same time period. Yet no one has called for withdrawing our police officers because they are being killed.

In fact, depending on the year, two to four times as many U.S. service members die in training accidents as are killed in combat. What are our 1.4 million service members for except to protect America from attack?

“I have never been of the view that we should be sacrificing American lives to try to establish a democratic government in Afghanistan,” Biden has said, deceptively misstating the reason we have remained in Afghanistan so long.

While the U.S. over the years has at times pursued so-called nation-building in Afghanistan, our primary purpose has always been to protect our own security. Biden has now foolishly handed the Taliban a super-terrorist state while giving our allies reason to mistrust us for decades to come.

As Leon Panetta, President Obama’s defense secretary and CIA director, recently said, “There is no question that they [the Taliban] will provide a safe haven for al Qaida, and for ISIS, and for other terrorists...This is a national security threat.”

Panetta predicted additional attacks on the U.S. and other countries as a result of Biden’s calamitous withdrawal.

Unmentioned in most of the media coverage of Biden’s withdrawal is the very real possibility that terrorists in conjunction with the Taliban will unleash an attack on the U.S. using weapons of mass destruction.

They will be able to hire experts to develop biological, chemical, radiological, and even nuclear weapons, just as Osama bin Laden in 1998 publicly decreed was his Islamic duty.

While it is true, as many experts have said, that the FBI is now far more capable of uncovering terrorist plots than it was on 9/11, it is also true that Biden has opened the floodgates in Afghanistan to dozens of new potential terrorist threats that could well elude the FBI and make the 9/11 attack look like a training exercise.

Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, is the New York Times bestselling author of “The Trump White House: Changing the Rules of the Game.” Read Ron Kessler's Reports More Here.

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"While Biden did not join the antiwar protest movement in his youth, his formative experience growing up was the Vietnam War."
Vietnam, Afghanistan War, Biden, Afghan Debacle
Monday, 13 September 2021 03:42 PM
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