Reactions to the “Afghan fiasco” in the U.S. fall under one of three categories, for the most part. The first is the view that Joe Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was the right call, however, the chaos that ensued during evacuations showed a lack of coordination. Proponents of the second one think that the withdrawal from Afghanistan happened way too soon, claiming Biden could have followed through on Trump’s deal with the Taliban within a more reasonable time frame. The third view is that of interventionist hawks and neocons. According to them, the Afghanistan pullout is an indentation for U.S. enemies to carry out a new 9/11.
It was Republican President George W. Bush and his team that decided to invade Afghanistan. Subsequent Democratic administrations also followed suit with the invasion initiated by the Republicans, only aggravating matters.
After all, Republicans and Democrats alike share the blame for the U.S.'s “Afghan debacle.”
Trump promised in the 2016 presidential elections that he would bring American troops in Afghanistan home. However, the Pentagon and bipartisan interventionist foreign policy hawks stalled Trump.
In the last months of his presidency, Trump was able to strike a deal with the Taliban, and Democratic President Joe Biden completed the job that Trump left unfinished. The circles that stalled Trump have now launched a campaign targeting Biden.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell described the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history.
According to McConnell, who argued that the U.S. pullout would embolden and reinvigorate terrorists, what transpired in Kabul was far worse than what happened in Saigon in 1975.
McConnell, one of the mainstream leaders of the Republican Party, criticized Trump's attempts to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and his administration’s negotiations with the Taliban. According to Lindsey Graham, a Republican hawk in the Senate, the pullout from Afghanistan sets the stage for a new 9/11. Graham also warned the Biden government against recognizing any Taliban administration.
Former general Herbert Raymond McMaster, who served as National Security Advisor in the Trump administration, slammed both Biden’s and Trump's Afghanistan policy.
McMaster, who opposed Trump's pullout, was sacked from his position as a result. He argues that withdrawing troops under current conditions signifies surrendering to the Taliban, and claims that the bomb attack that took place at Kabul airport on August 26 may have been provoked by the Taliban to humiliate the United States.
According to McMaster, the Kabul explosion serves as proof to the United States that its endless wars are in fact not ending.
Adam Kinzinger, an anti-Trump Republican lawmaker in the House of Representatives, is also among those who argue that withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan is not the way to end the "forever wars."
Dick Cheney, who served as vice president in the George W. Bush administration, played an active role in the invasion of Afghanistan. He has repeatedly claimed that they had achieved an irreversible victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan. Flash-forward twenty years later, the Taliban has returned to Kabul with even more vigor. Yet, Republicans don't even want to recall the lies they fed the American people.
Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz Cheney, an anti-Trump Republican lawmaker in the House of Representatives, also reacted to those who claim that withdrawing from Afghanistan would end the forever wars, saying, "So everybody — the Rand Paul, Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Joe Biden view of the world here is fundamentally dangerous and irresponsible and wrong.”
We should note that Rand Paul, one of the rare Republican senators who lent the warmest support to Trump's rhetoric to pull the U.S. out of "endless wars," was a frequent target for neocons and the Israel Lobby."
The U.S. pullout from Afghanistan is a difficult decision to stomach for the neocons, the most loyal disciples of the "American Military-Industrial Complex," which cannot get enough of these endless wars. This complex will continue to seek new footholds in Afghanistan, located in the geopolitical heart of Eurasia, the scene of the great power showdown between the U.S. and China (and Russia). Reactions to the pullout decision are telltale signs of the struggle yet to come.