President Biden seemingly boasted about the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan which essentially handed the country over to the Taliban – saying he’s willing to lose the presidency over the move.
CBS News correspondent Rita Braver said to Biden, “This has been a hard year. I mean, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. You know that various things that you’ve done have gotten a lot of criticism. You’ve had a hard time getting the other side to work with you … don’t you ever feel discouraged about this?”
“No,” Biden claimed.
“And doesn’t that criticism get to you? And how does Dr. B help you through that?” Braver asked solicitously.
“Well, you know, I guess it should get to me more,” Biden answered, before resorting to the claim that he was giving his “word as a Biden,” saying: “But look: one of the things we did decide, and I mean this, my word as a Biden, I know what I’m willing to lose over. If we walk away from the middle class, if we walk away from trying to unify people, if we start to engage in the same kind of politics that the last four years has done? I’m willing to lose over that.”
“You mean, you’re willing to lose your presidency?” Braver asked, seemingly shocked.
“My presidency, that’s right,” Biden bragged.
“Because I’m gonna stick with it. There’s certain things that are just, like for example Afghanistan. Well, I’ve been against that war in Afghanistan from the very beginning. We were spending $300 million a week in Afghanistan, over 20 years. Now, everybody says, ‘You could have gotten out without anybody being hurt.’ No one’s come up with a way to ever indicate to me how that happens. … And so, there are certain things that are just so important.”
The Pentagon admitted in early November that since President Biden withdrew all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in the summer, several dozen immediate family members of U.S. service members still remained trapped in the terrorist controlled country.
A memo issued by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl asked U.S. military personnel and DoD civilians who had immediate family members requiring help to leave Afghanistan to contact his office, NBC News reported. The memo “instructs service members and Defense Department civilians to email a specific address with the subject ‘immediate family member,’” the network reported.
According to defense officials, several dozen immediate family members of U.S. service members were still in Afghanistan. “There are well over 100 extended family members still in Afghanistan, but it’s not clear how many of them want to leave the country,” NBC News stated, citing the officials.
As if leaving the families of service members behind wasn’t bad enough, Biden’s botched withdrawal had other longer lasting ramifications.
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie said in an interview late last week that the U.S. had lost virtually all of its capability to track Islamic terrorists in al-Qaeda and other organizations inside Afghanistan after the pull-out.
The Associated Press reported:
“Speaking at the Pentagon, McKenzie said it’s clear that al-Qaeda is attempting to rebuild its presence inside Afghanistan, which was the base from which it planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States. He said some militants are coming into the country through its porous borders, but it is hard for the U.S. to track numbers. …
McKenzie and other senior U.S. military and national security officials had said before the U.S. withdrawal that it would complicate efforts to keep a lid on the al-Qaeda threat, in part because of the loss of on-the-ground intelligence information and the absence of a U.S.-friendly government in Kabul. The U.S. says it will rely on airstrikes from drones and other aircraft based beyond Afghanistan’s borders to respond to any extremist threats against the U.S. homeland.”
“We’re probably at about 1 or 2% of the capabilities we once had to look into Afghanistan,” he said. The AP said that McKenzie warned that this meant that it was “very hard” to make sure that major terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS cannot use Afghanistan to launch attacks against the U.S.
Author: Ryan Kim