GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
Today’s FT carries the following comment:
“A desire in the White House to wrap up nagging foreign policy problems so it can focus on China is understandable. But the abandonment of Afghanistan raises doubts over the depth of US commitment to supposed allies, and its determination to see military entanglements through to the bitter end. As one of the North Atlantic alliance’s biggest and most costly foreign policy priorities of this century implodes, those lessons will not be lost on Beijing.”
Just 6 weeks ago President Biden was confident that the 300,000 Afghan Defence Forces had the training, equipment + competence to hold off the Taliban after the US withdrew its forces. He said;
“The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything + owning the whole country is highly unlikely. We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools – let me emphasise all the tools, training, and equipment of any modern military”.
But that is just what has happened – the Taliban have overrun the country
1. The Afghan government lacked support from the tribes, the clans, the militias and the ethnic groups.
2. US air + logistical support was withdrawn.
3. Internally, President Biden will be OK because the US people are tired of overseas wars and it was Trump who initiated the Pull-Out Policy. But Biden will pay a heavy “incompetence” price.
4. The biggest long-term loss will be the US standing with countries around the world. President Biden hoped to create a community of democracies against China. Those democracies will be asking themselves today How Much Reliance Can We Now Place On The US?
The consequences to world politics will be considerable.