Why Biden Should Continue Withdrawing After Afghanistan

A month after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, it is still unclear whether we witnessed the start of a series of military withdrawals – as part of Bidens announced End of the era of regime change wars – or whether Afghanistan will only remain an isolated case.

While Washington’s foreign policy elite resisted Biden’s withdrawal, a closer look at the political and strategic ramifications reveals a chance for Biden to deliver on his promise to break the United States out of the Forever Wars and a broader US withdrawal from the Middle East, beginning with Iraq and Syria. The political costs of withdrawing from the Middle East have largely been paid for, and the geopolitical ramifications are strongly positive.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August, the media, defense companies and Pentagon-friendly political winks produced a barrage of criticism condemning the US withdrawal and calling it “Humiliation” and a “national shame. “Experts demanded that Biden reverse his decision and redeploy Troops.

But the American public was not influenced by Washington’s tantrums or media attacks. The number of Americans who supported the withdrawal continued to grow despite the horrific pictures from Kabul Airport. A Bank survey showed that while most Americans disapproved of the handling of the withdrawal, they believed that, overall, Biden had made the right decision. Sixty-two percent I think the biggest lesson from Afghanistan is that the United States shouldn’t be concerned with nation building and that it should only endanger troops when vital national interests are threatened.

Much of the foreign policy establishment is shocked that Biden has proven that the military-industrial complex and its allies in the political world – the so-called blob – can be defeated. It takes a steely political will, but Biden has proven that when the American public stands behind you, you will not only win but flourish.

With the myth of the invincibility of the military-industrial complex shattered, Biden has no reason to stop. The continued presence of the US military in Syria is illegal and does not serve any vital US interest. After the defeat of IS, the Trump administration helped establish the presence of troops asserting they were used to counter Iranian influence. But combating Iranian influence – real or imagined – in Syria is not a vital US interest, and Congress has never consented to such a mission. Today the 900 soldiers stationed in Syria lock the country in its civil war and hinder reconstruction. Rather than making America safer, the presence of US troops in Syria risks dragging the United States into yet another unnecessary war in the Middle East that is making Americans less safe.


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