President Joe Biden claimed he would move quickly to avoid casualties among civilians and troops in Afghanistan, but his delayed commitment has left over a thousand Americans stranded and hundreds of others injured and dead.
But since the United States has long been destabilizing countries with its military prowess, it should take responsibility for all the collateral damage as well, including providing a safe haven for refugees and victims of war and opening up its borders.
On Sunday, Aug. 15, the U.S. ended its fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban, beginning the withdrawal of its military forces after 20 years.
“Our military commanders advised me that once I made the decision to end the war, we needed to move swiftly to conduct the main elements of the drawdown,” Biden said in a speech in July addressing the decision to withdraw. “And thanks to the way in which we have managed our withdrawal, no one — no one, U.S. forces or any forces have — have been lost.”
Biden stated that his first and foremost concern was speed because to his standards, that meant safety.
Now two months later, chaos continues to ensue Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover, including an attack at The Kabul International Airport on Thursday, Aug. 26, which killed 13 U.S. troops and at least 90 Afghan civilians.
In addition, 1,500 Americans are still waiting to be evacuated, according to the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
The U.S. military is still expected to continue the evacuations regardless of the ongoing instability and the threats of another attack.
The evacuations are necessary, but the entire operation now puts evacuees and U.S. troops at further risk.
Horrific images and videos of crowds of Afghan civilians trying to desperately flee the country have surfaced all over the internet during the past month.
“I think Biden’s decision was guided by the preceding administration’s deal to remove troops from Afghanistan and his own ideological commitment to ending U.S. involvement in this conflict,” Matthew Mendez Garcia, a political science professor at CSULB, said. “While the Trump administration did not make much of an effort to prepare for the withdrawal, it should be noted that the Biden Administration had been advised by senior officials to perhaps delay the withdrawal and keep some troops in the country.”
Whether or not Biden was advised to keep some troops in the country, it is a decrepit move to not notify those who were eligible to leave the country under resettlement terms.
Biden is under fire because of his decision to follow-up on the withdrawal before the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
He was slow in alerting the Afghan civilians of his decision to give them ample time and arrangements to leave the country under more simple and safe conditions.
How many more casualties have to come out of this war, even as the U.S. withdraws? And now that we have passed the deadline, there is a looming fear that the Taliban is not expected to concede.