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Joe Biden became president in part due to a promise to “restore respect abroad” and rebuild alliances. Yet seven and a half months into his tenure, America’s important allies are more irate with our nonchalance toward serious issues and dereliction of our unique role in the world than they have ever been.
This spring, Biden naively promised troops would come home “responsibly, deliberately, and safely” from Afghanistan, minimizing any danger.
After the worst day for our military in generations — when a terror attack killed 13 American servicemen and at least 100 Afghans — Biden deflected responsibility for the massive catastrophe and now claims the exit will be “hard and painful no matter when it started.”
It was the administration’s disastrous decision to abandon Bagram Air Base that created turmoil at Kabul airport, which placed Americans in a vulnerable position.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reportedly warned Biden that a withdrawal from Afghanistan wouldn’t provide stability, and even Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley advised him to keep 2,500 troops in country and not abandon Bagram. Biden, who never served in the military, ignored the advice of two generals with over 80 years of combined experience.
As to our allies, Great Britain suffered the second-most casualties in Afghanistan, yet Biden did not keep their leaders abreast of his plans. The New York Times reports that British officials felt “embarrassed and embittered” by that move.
For at least 36 hours, while the Taliban retook Afghanistan, Biden ignored phone calls from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The dismissal of our chief European ally earned widespread condemnation, as Parliament strongly denounced Biden’s surrender.
On Saturday night, all British military personnel finally left Kabul.
Do Biden and Ron Klain — the chief of staff who clearly seeks to win news cycles and hopes the Afghanistan blunder fades from the public — trust the Taliban instead of centuries-old allies? As they allow the terror group to dictate terms of surrender, one wonders, especially when Washington is now sharing counterterrorism intelligence with the Islamist radicals.
To the north, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau actually called Hillary Clinton after his efforts to reach the president failed.
“Canada has no plans to recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan,” Trudeau told the former secretary of state. “They have taken over and replaced a duly elected democratic government by force. They are a recognized terrorist organization under Canadian law.”
Biden continued dismissing most G-7 leaders’ requests to extend the deadline, so they could get their own citizens out before Tuesday’s deadline. Nations that worked with the United States for two decades in the Middle East are now treated like strangers by an American president unwilling to listen to legitimate concerns.
“The change here was the deliberate and conscious decision to ‘end a war’ in which Americans were not suffering combat casualties,” Commentary’s John Podhoretz recently wrote. “The status quo held. And then Joe Biden, in between licks of his ice cream cones, heedlessly and vaingloriously smashed it to bits. He wanted to be the bringer of peace; he is instead the bringer of chaos. And we haven’t seen anything yet.”
It’s been an awful month for our place in the world. Usually, liberals would be appalled. Nevertheless, this occurs when you foolhardily conduct haphazard foreign policy off Twitter or capricious public opinion polls.