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A reminder about Joe Biden's foreign-policy incompetence

Republicans are known to do a majority of the pouncing and fixating on Capitol Hill because theirs are the views not shared with the media. As a result, the GOP’s pronouncements are treated as novel — worthy of coverage not for the content but rather for their temerity to disagree with the prevailing narrative.

A recent House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing searching for answers (and reminding American voters of Biden’s foreign-policy incompetence in an election year) regarding the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is the latest event to earn such consideration.

From Politico:

The House Foreign Affairs Committee hammered the administration on Tuesday for its 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan, seeking to keep the chaotic exit in the public eye even as the two retired generals who oversaw the evacuation offered few new details.

President Joe Biden’s poll numbers tanked three years ago as U.S. forces left Afghanistan, especially after an ISIS suicide bomber killed 13 American service members outside Kabul’s airport. Republicans have since tried to make the withdrawal a political albatross to hang around Biden’s neck, leading Democrats to defend him on the committee dais and beyond.

But it’s unclear just how much of a liability the war in Afghanistan will prove for Biden heading into a likely presidential matchup with Donald Trump, who initiated the withdrawal process by signing a deal with the Taliban.

Thirteen American servicemen died as a result of our botchery of an Afghanistan exit, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. Trump made an agreement with the Taliban in February 2020 that would allow him to campaign on getting Americans out of “forever wars” while allowing the U.S. the escape clause of terminating the deal if the peace talks failed between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

It would have been better if the president who initiated the deal was there to effect it, but (as they say) elections have consequences. The Biden administration inherited the deal, and while they’d later cry that Trump hamstrung them, Biden had every opportunity to shred or renegotiate — he chose inaction.

With inaction, especially from the State Department, came a mounting crisis during the American withdrawal as the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, fled to Qatar, and the Afghan forces dispersed almost as quickly. U.S. troops were left to deal with masses of terrified people attempting to get on a plane no matter the cost — some even holding onto the exterior of aircraft — so great was their intent to escape a surrendered country. In the tumult, an ISIS suicide bomber got close enough to kill 13 uniformed Americans.

As can be expected from federal bureaucracies where no one is ever ultimately responsible for anything, strategic finger-pointing and tactical shrugs ruled the day.

More from Politico:

McKenzie argued the chaos surrounding the withdrawal, which included the attack at Kabul’s airport that also wounded 170 Afghans, could have been averted if the State Department had chosen to evacuate earlier.

“The Taliban had overrun the country,” McKenzie said. “As you are aware, the decision to begin [an evacuation operation] rests with the Department of State, not the Department of Defense.”

The State Department’s own report said the agency’s participation in the evacuation was hindered because it wasn’t clear which department was taking the lead.

The GOP is correct to fixate on Afghanistan, even a couple of years after the fact, because the Biden administration didn’t take responsibility for the failure then, and the president continues to make the same fundamental errors to this day.

Biden’s foreign policy undercuts our partners (Israel the latest to experience our collegial venom) while providing succor and forewarning to our foes. The current administration should be hounded until its last day about why it acts like a fourth-rate European military fleeing a holding of its dwindling empire rather than the most powerful military ever to walk the Earth. Democratic congressmen may act like victimhood is diplomacy — that nonsense doesn’t fly when dealing with terrorists.

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