Perspectives: Placing Blame as Afghanistan Falls to Taliban
Summary from the AllSides News Team
As Afghanistan falls to Taliban militants on the heels of the U.S. military's departure from the country, people in the U.S. and across the world are considering who or what is to blame. The Biden administration announced in April that the U.S. would leave Afghanistan completely by Sept. 11, 2021, and the last U.S. troops left Bagram Airfield, the main U.S. military base in the region for the past two decades, in early July; roughly six weeks later, the Taliban captured it. Former President Donald Trump and the Taliban reached an agreement in February 2020 that said all U.S. troops would leave the country by May 2021 in exchange for the Taliban agreeing to work with the Afghan government. Video of frantic Afghans fleeing the capital city of Kabul have dominated headlines across the spectrum and social media Monday.
Voices across the political spectrum placed blame on the U.S. government's handling of Afghanistan over the past 20 years, as well as the Biden administration in particular, often framing the recent U.S. departure from the country as needlessly hasty; opinions from CNN (Left bias) and National Review (Right bias) both described Biden's handling of Afghanistan as a "debacle." Viewpoints from military personnel who served in Afghanistan were also seen across the spectrum; many blamed themselves for supporting a purportedly "aimless" U.S. effort to help stabilize the Middle East. Many voices from the right also highlighted a report that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has taken the week off; left- and center-rated outlets did not.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the CenterWhat We Got Wrong in Afghanistan
Watching the rapid deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan—the Taliban have captured a third of the country’s provincial capitals in the weeks since the U.S. military pulled its troops out—has evoked a feeling of déjà vu for me.
In 2005, I was an adviser to an Iraqi infantry battalion conducting counterinsurgency operations in and around Baghdad, one of the most violent parts of Iraq during one of the most violent periods in that conflict. It was difficult to have any hope at the time. I returned to Iraq in 2009,...
From the LeftThe fall of Afghanistan in 2021 is the result of years of American delusion
On Sunday morning, Taliban fighters captured Afghanistan's Bagram Airfield — the symbol and source of U.S. power projection in the region for 20 years — releasing thousands of prisoners. Within hours, Taliban fighters were trickling into the city center with little resistance. The Taliban had already swept in and captured the capital city of Kabul. By nightfall, President Ashraf Ghani had fled the country, and the Taliban's reconquest of Afghanistan was complete.
Last Monday in Doha, Qatar — the site of fruitless peace talks with the Taliban across now two administrations — the...
From the RightJoe Biden’s Afghanistan Debacle
Joe Biden has been wrong about most major foreign-policy questions all of his adult life, but — as a long-time senator and then vice president — didn’t have much power to do anything about it.
That’s no longer the case, and we are now seeing the gut-wrenching consequences in Afghanistan, where Biden rejected the advice of his military and intelligence officials and ignored the clear evidence on the ground, and ordered a calamitous U.S. withdrawal.
Despite the president’s fantastical assurances a little over a month ago that Afghan security forces had the...