Meet the Post-Afghanistan Terrorist World
Paul Gigot interviews terrorism specialist Seth Jones
As we approach the 20th anniversary of September 11, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have left Afghanistan in the same position it was in 2001—under the control of the Taliban. The Biden administration’s irresponsible withdrawal has created a terrorist safe haven and tarnished America’s credibility.
Our mission has now changed in Afghanistan. We must focus on getting all American citizens, Afghan partners, and allies safely out of the country as soon as possible.
So far, the Biden administration cannot tell Congress and the American people how many of our countrymen are in Afghanistan which leaves all of us frustrated. Worse, there is no plan to get our citizens to the Karzai Airport in Kabul. Instead, the Biden administration told them to travel at their own peril through Taliban-controlled streets.
Let that sink in: we cannot guarantee the safety of Americans seeking to leave Afghanistan.
Last week, President Biden stood in front of the American people and said no American in Afghanistan was having trouble getting through Taliban checkpoints to the airport. President Biden also told the American people that the Taliban had not attacked Americans in Afghanistan. But in fact, his own Secretary of Defense contradicted him. Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that the Taliban has gone after Americans and called it “unacceptable.”
This administration cannot leave until every single American is accounted for and safely out of Afghanistan. The fact that this is even an issue reveals how poorly the Biden-Harris withdrawal was planned and executed.
We have seen the videos of thousands of Afghans trying to flee the Taliban, afraid of the brutal rule to return. Reports of the Taliban preventing Afghans from entering the airport are growing by the hour.
Many of these people helped the United States over the last 20 years. They all expected the greatest nation in the world to be there for them, as promised. But President Biden and Vice President Harris have turned their backs at their greatest moment of need.
Women and children must now live with the reality that a repressive regime will control their ability to work, go to school, how to dress, and whom to marry. Anyone who previously aided the United States faces punishment or death at the hands of the Taliban. What a sad reality.
President Biden recently claimed that, “[T]he evacuation of thousands of people from Kabul is going to be hard and painful. There is no way to evacuate this many people without pain.” Yet, in April, President Biden painted a completely different picture saying, “We will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit. We’ll do it responsibly, deliberately, and safely.”
We stayed in Afghanistan for 20 years to prevent terrorists from using the country as a base of operations, training, and recruitment. The failure of the Biden-Harris administration to understand this should worry every American.
By their actions, the president and vice president have created an environment perfect for the development of terrorists who can once again attack our homeland. Yet, the Biden administration has not articulated any plan to prevent terrorists from flourishing in Afghanistan going forward.
I have called on the Biden administration to present its plan—any plan—on Afghanistan. From how it plans to use ISR capabilities (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance), where our assets will be based in the region, and how troops will be used to defeat any new terrorist threats arising from Afghanistan.
World leaders as well as congressional leaders, like myself, still have not heard about a plan from President Biden, and more importantly, neither have the American people.
Our nation cannot afford a president in hiding who points fingers instead of doing his job. It is imperative that our commander in chief steps up to the plate and gets a plan in place to protect our nation from the crisis he created.
President Biden and Vice President Harris: where are you?
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