A recent Washington Post poll showed 78% approval of the military withdrawal of Afghanistan, but only 26% approval of President Biden’s handling of it. While the actual withdrawal appears to have been chaotic by all news media accounts, the number of people evacuated from the country in the short time period was an incredible accomplishment. This was something several prior administrations could have done but failed to attempt.
Aside from people just looking to take partisan shots, I’m left puzzled by the overall public expectations. I’ve never served in combat, but I feel confident saying that modern warfare is difficult to manage. It isn’t a Hollywood movie or a video game, it’s messy and hard. This wasn’t Abraham Lincoln or George Washington sitting in a tent with a map and pencil, overlooking land the size of a few football fields trying to decide which hill to attack from.
Biden should be and is being accountable for the failures of this operation, just as any president should be for events taking place under their administration. The bigger story is the military and intelligence failure that brought us to this point, and which by all accounts was ineffective or at least lacked transparency. I think we would be better served trying to understand what lessons this 20-year conflict that cost thousands of brave military lives and trillions of taxpayer dollars is trying to teach us.