I was too optimistic when I recently applauded President Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal announcement. I failed to mention that President Trump had scheduled the withdrawal from Afganistan for May. Biden actually is delaying the final withdrawal to September. Naturally, many Afghanis consider this another American broken promise.
But what’s more troubling to me is that it’s clear that the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies are busy tweaking the withdrawal decision. According to the NY Times, the withdrawal will resemble staying in all but name, “American spy agencies and Western allies are refining plans to deploy a less visible but still potent force in the region.”
Western assets will continue to surround the region, including troops from NATO member Turkey. Is the US handing the mess to the increasingly Islamist Turkey?
Have you noticed how confusing the reporting on Afghanistan is? Contradictions are everywhere. For example, the Times article states that Turkish troops will remain after the US withdrawal, while this NY Post article claims that no NATO troops will stay in Afghanistan. In addition, how many troops are leaving? How many troops are there now? None of the numbers add up.
You’re not being cynical if you conclude it’s just political theatre.