Biden Pressed Afghanistan to “Change Perception” Before Withdrawal

Biden Pressed Afghanistan to

( – A lot of politics relates to optics, as everyone knows. Much of the time, substantial debates and policies play second fiddle to sound bytes and media spin. This is something of a necessary evil. Politicians do what needs to be done to win votes. However, when leaders start manipulating the public perception of their policies in an attempt to get away with dangerous levels of incompetence, that’s another matter.

“A Different Picture”

President Joe Biden may have done just that. In his final call with former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, mere weeks before the fall of Kabul, Biden stressed the importance of “perception” to Ghani. Biden implored the Afghan leader to “project a different picture” regarding the fight against the Taliban. Most alarmingly, the American president even directed his Afghan counterpart to change the narrative “whether it is true or not.” To this end, he suggested Ghani organize a press conference with the nation’s other political leaders, touting a new military strategy to overcome rebel forces.

In the context of what’s happened since it’s almost difficult to believe Biden would still have been engaging in discussions like this so recently.

What Actually Unfolded After Biden’s Call

Whatever attempts Ghani’s administration made to repair the image of the Afghan military effort, it could not stand up to the reality for long. After 20 years of American occupation, Afghanistan fell under the control of the Taliban in mere weeks. The Taliban swept every major city in the country with ease, without even firing a shot in many cases.

According to research from Brown University, the United States has spent over $8 trillion on war since 9/11. These wars have killed almost a million people directly, and a multiple of that number have died from the “reverberating effects of war.”

Some of the most recent casualties came from the ranks of our servicemembers. Thirteen US military members died in Kabul following a suicide bomb attack by ISIS-K, along with an estimated 160 Afghans. Experts believe this catastrophe would not have happened if Joe Biden had executed his withdrawal strategy more sensibly.

This story may have offered some insight on why exactly the exit from Afghanistan went so horribly wrong. Rather than working with military leaders in the US and Afghanistan to address the problems experts knew existed, Biden was more concerned about completing his withdrawal before everyone realized the severity of the situation.

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