The fall of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan to the Taliban happened faster than almost anyone in Washington — or Kabul — could have imagined. As of Sunday afternoon, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had fled his nation, the Taliban were on the verge of once more running the country, and President Biden authorized sending in thousands of additional troops to undertake and safely extract U.S. diplomatic personnel et al. out of Kabul.
It’s a stunning turn of events, all happening just weeks before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that precipitated America’s offensive into Afghanistan. And it adds yet one more issue to the mounting Republican attacks against Biden a year before congressional Democrats represent reelection with a tenuous hold on power in Washington. Republican hawks are once more circling after years of dormancy under the Trump presidency.
Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark. said the Biden administration was warned that things would be this bad. Cotton said the withdrawal has “humiliated America.” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., charged that Biden had “turned his back on our allies.” When the Biden Administration announced their Afghanistan pullout plan, several folks on the Intel Committee told them their predictions of what would happen next were a complete fantasy.