Saturday, August 14, 2021

Biden Follows Trump On Foreign Policy

 We are now looking at a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan.  It looks like the Taliban will probably take control of Kabul and thus Afghanistan in the near future. Reports already show that where they control women cannot go to school and appear in public without a veil in public and much more. Many women there are unfortunately going to suffer greatly as a result of this. I am so very deeply sorry.

Yes, as an American who supported the original invasion of Afghanistan 20 years ago to overturn the Taliban and end support for al Qaeda who did the 9/11 attack two decades ago, I am also frustrated that we did not get the heck out once the Taliban were overthrown. But it remains unclear why we did stay then, especially given that the W. Bush admin turned to invading Iraq. Latest I have checked it seems that it was Rumsfeld who played the key role in deciding that that the US stay in Afghanistan, even as that admin basically gave up on getting bin Laden.

So this should not be a partisan issue in the US. Pres.Biden long ago, including as Obama's VP, led opposition to increasing efforts in Afghanistan. He accurately understood that this was an ultimately bad situation to get more deeply involved in, And he then made it clear he thought we should be getting out. 

This was the position of Biden's predecessor, Trump, who also called for the US leaving Afghanistan. He steadily reduced the US troop presence, and negotiated a final full withdrawal. But various advisors held him back from effectuating the final withdrawal, leaving that to his successor. But what was left was not sustainable. 

There are other areas where Biden seems to be following Trump policies.  These include his reluctance to rejoin the JCPOA Iranian nuclear deal, which he promised to do, and he should have done.  But now there is a new hardline president in Iran in reaction to just this, the failure of Biden to rejoin the deal. This is simply awful.

The list is long, and I frankly do not get why Biden has held back on so much of this.  So, he has yet to remove almost any of the stupid garbage Trump tariffs. He has if anything made Trump's prohibition of receiving refugees from abroad harder. And he is all in on Trump's Afghanistan policy, which looks now to be a total humanitarian disaster.  But the GOP is already falsely claiming the disaster will all be Biden's fault, not Trump's. 

Barkley Rosser


pgl said...

An orderly withdrawal was the right thing to do. Alas with everything Trump bungled the process leaving Biden with an impending disaster. Of course Republicans will blame Biden even if they had nothing to say when Trump was in charge.

paddy kivlin said...

pgl, way to go.....

the orderly withdrawl should have been in 2009, then the billions a week cost plus good profit to support contracts in afghanistan would have ended.

instead the guy who voted against iraq invasion kept the good times for contractors rolling in iraq and afghanistan. yeah, hillary and vicky kagan too!

yeah, trump was opposed to bush (pnac) nation blundering that obama championed

including obama buying in to rebuilding libya and using al qaeda to try rebuild syria

the root is bush and the enduring military industry complex

orange n=man bad! but djt ain't the ugliest american. said...

US should have withdrawn in 2003, if not late 2002, once the Taliban government was overthrown. Yeah, 2009 would have been better than now, but by then we had already made a mess of things there.

MW said...

I'm definitely neither an academic nor an economist, but I occasionally look at this blog because an old friend writes for it. Yours is by far the best summary I have seen of all of this. I like that you acknowledge the humanitarian disaster in a sensitive way as so many people seem to be saying "Well, so it goes, we had to get out". And I believe you are right about Biden and the Iran nuclear deal as well. Just my two cents.

Smith Mitchell said...

As a person living on another part of the planet and watching the elections in America, I am very interested in whether the Americans are satisfied with the policies of their new president?