America Is Not Suffering Humiliation in Afghanistan Because It Retreated Too Quickly, but Because It Stayed Too Long

Taliban rule the country even before the US withdrawal deadline

Couldn’t have come up with a more humiliating US exit from Afghanistan if you commissioned the vengeful ghost of Saddam Hussein to write it, but there you go. The US is withdrawing in circumstances even the biggest cynics could not have predicted and even the most implacable enemies could not have hoped for.

But as the very warmongers who godfathered this humiliation seize upon the withdrawal to argue that the US should have stayed another twenty years, or maybe forever, it is important to remember the present humiliation is not the result of the US leaving too quickly, but of having stayed for too long.

There are numerous ways in which the scenario where the Taliban take over the country before the Americans are even out could have been avoided. Here are just a few of them:

1. — If Biden just stuck to the Taliban-Trump deal and withdrew by May 1. Instead, he tinkered with the withdrawal plan just so the Democrats differentiate themselves from Trump. He broke America’s word to the Taliban, yet his meek 9-11 withdrawal deadline just reinforced the point to the Taliban and the Kabul forces alike that the US had no gas in the political will tank left and was a paper tiger.

2. — If Trump had just withdrawn when he gained power, instead of dragging out the process with a 2-year negotiation which served no purpose other than to act as a long-running advertisement for the Taliban where every Afghan warlord, tribal chief, and police commander was put on notice that the Taliban rebels had gained a seat across the table from a superpower, while the Kabul government wasn’t even being consulted as its fate was being decided.

It would have been far less damaging for the Kabul forces if the Americans simply picked up and left, but the talks served a purpose for the Americans, namely the White House. They conjured up the appearance of a withdrawal process that Trump had promised but was too cowardly to actually order. Just as in Biden’s case the US had found a way to stay a little longer, but only at the price of boosting the Taliban and undermining its underlings.

3. — If Obama had withdrawn after the surge. Obama campaigned on getting out of Iraq and surging in Afghanistan. But the full Obama Afghanistan strategy as laid out in private wasn’t to surge and then to stay forever, but to surge and then get out, and get out no matter the outcome of the surge at that. He would give the generals one last chance to win, after which he was pulling the plug whether that happened or not.

4. — If Obama had withdrawn before ever surging as Biden — who never liked the surge — advised him at the time.

5. — If Bush had withdrawn after putting Al-Qaeda on the run. Preferably after having sent the Special Forces at Tora Bora the reinforcements that they asked for and needed to cut AQs escape to Pakistan and bag bin Laden right there. (Would have been rather more difficult to have a GWOT with a dead bin Laden, however.)

6. — If the US had accepted the Taliban offer to hand over bin Laden to Saudi Arabia, and then twisted Riyadh’s arm to extradite him to the US. (But that would have made it rather difficult to explain to the American people why Iraq needed to be invaded when even for 9-11 and Afghanistan peace had worked just fine.)

7. — If the US wasn’t so comfortable with (often useful) Islamic terrorists that it didn’t treat AQ or bin Laden seriously even after the 1998 US Embassy bombings.

  1. Mozaffar Javed says

    Kabul goes through its “Saigon moment” #astrology

  2. mijj says

    > “America Is Not Suffering Humiliation in Afghanistan Because It Retreated Too Quickly, but Because It Stayed Too Long”
    surely, the US is enjoying humiliation in Afghanistan because the numb-nut state invaded Afghanistan in the first place.

    1. silver9blue says

      And its long since known they had nothing to do with 9/11. Bin Laden a Saudi lived in Pakistan and nearly all the 9/11 crew were Saudi’s who walked scot free.

  3. ken says

    America’s last real generals MacArthur and Patton turning over in their graves.

    These new school ‘generals’ only know how to forge the rotating door into a MIC corporate VP spot. Obviously, they have no clue on how to general.

    And the Intelligence agencies are so busy with the 1/6 insurrection and White Racist Supremacists they have little time to come up with useful Intel.

    Or are the masks and injections are causing wide spread brain smog (BS)?

  4. Pablo says

    This has happened before. Saigon, Viet Nam 1975. And now we can add Kabul, Afghanistan airport 2021 to the list. Like the cowards they are, the US War Machine slinked off without any warning and unannounced. The only difference is that in Saigon, 1975 Locals stupid enough to not renounce their loyalty to the Americans clung to fleeing American helicopter skids. In Afghanistan the Locals loyal to the Americans for too long clung to the tires of fleeing American transport planes. A good question to ask is, “Why is this allowed to happen?”

    1. Kieran says

      the warmonger Neocons like repeating history

  5. Raptar Driver says

    True, and hopefully we’ll have 15 years of peace like after Vietnam.
    But somehow I doubt it.
    Gotta hope for something.

    1. XSFRGR says

      America is collapsing, and there will be no peace; nice thought though.

  6. Richseeto says

    Biden acted the smart arse leader and thinks he can be tougher than Trump even though the man can hardly walk straight or speak without prompting or straight.
    Goes to
    show what a real paper tiger, it is and it wants to take on China for another
    pointless war in defending Taiwan which has nothing to do with US politics
    other than to show that it is the overlord it once was in world affairs.
    Can any
    sane Americans understand that for decades if not century the US loathe and
    demonize Chinese people now wants to sacrifice the cream of its young men and
    women to go die for their protection from their original Motherland?
    to use nuclear weapons against China by showing explicit pictures of loading
    nukes onto their bombers is not only laughable but juvenile to think that that
    will cow a China with equally devastating nuclear weapons.
    the Yanks be suicidal enough to deploy them with the possibility of an
    untrammelled nuclear exchange which may explode the planet and the total
    extinction of all life on earth?
    a question that can only be answered by the Hegemon and World Bully!

    1. silver9blue says

      There is No nuking China now without America getting heavily nuked.

  7. XSFRGR says

    If my fellow Americans weren’t such totally brain dead fools who are about to receive what they so richly deserve.

  8. yuri says

    afghan humiliation is one of many visible amerikan failures; there are far more massive failures many now unfolding and less obvious—except for those that comprehend history

  9. GMC says

    Poppy harvests are in April and May so the US Military had to wait at least until June before – Leaving. The Taliban probably gave the US a break , by letting them stay – this long. I wonder if Monsanto is still working there – $$.

  10. yuri says

    Chinese media observes afghans far more civilized than fascist amerikans
    the administration shift to taliban more orderly smoother than rigged fake election in USA where emperor gates installed the new senile reptile prez
    “amerikans are farcical when it comes to money and force majeure–the 2 things they worship. my country has created 1 art form–the TV advertisement. you should not expect a democracy from a society like this”. Gore Vidal

  11. silver9blue says

    No No. Come on. They are a laughing stock for getting out to quick and having to send people back to help those get out that they left behind even Americans were still there.

  12. yuri says

    in order to “suffer” humiliation people must have the capacity to think and feel; amerikans lack both

  13. Juan says

    how funny, i wanna play too: if the globo mobsters starting with the perfidious, drug dealing red jackets, had left Afghanistan (really, the whole Asia, no, the entire world including Scotland and Ireland) alone since always. If William never invaded the british island in the XIst century… everything would’ve been fine.

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