Following the chaotic U.S. exit from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden now faces a crisis of confidence as many people question his ability to lead as commander-in-chief. This comes in the trail of the negative fallout he has received from the incident in the Middle-Eastern country, which resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S.service members and with many Americans and Afghan allies left behind, stranded.
From former military leaders to members of Congress – no matter what party – a lot of people have slammed Biden for leaving Americans behind as the country’s final C-17 took off from Kabul’s international airport on Monday night, despite the president’s vow that they will get everyone out.
The international credibility of the U.S. also went down, according to Foreign policy experts. Many countries, either with or against the U.S., might now perceive the country as weak and that it may lack the ability to protect its citizens and allies from the Taliban as well as other terrorist attacks.
Additionally, the families of the 13 service members who died following an attack near the Kabul airport on Thursday have expressed their outrage a the president for the way he mismanaged the situation, which directly caused the deaths of these personnel.
Because of the Afghanistan withdrawal, the public’s confidence in Biden also went down, per a CBS News poll published last week. According to the survey, the majority of people in the U.S. do not think Biden is competent, focused, or effective at being president. Additionally. His overall approval went down to 50% from 58% in July. Meanwhile, 74% think that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has gone badly.
Defense Officials Criticize Biden
Former defense officials also claim that the president’s performance during the Afghan crisis has made the U.S. seem unreliable in the eyes of allies.
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In a statement, Michael C. Ryan, the former Deputy Assistance Secretary of Defence for European and Nato Policy, said that America’s “capability and will” have become suspect following Biden’s “ill-advised” decision to hastily withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, David Axelford, a former Obama advisor, described the exit as a “disaster” and a “failure.” He also urged the president to review the situation on the ground all while the Taliban overtook the country.
Ryan Cocker, Obama’s Afghanistan Ambassador, also said the exit “created a global crisis.” In an interview, he said he fears that if the Taliban gains more power, they would go after Afghans who revealed the truth and helped the U.S. directly.
Family of Fallen Servicemen Put the Blame on the President
Several family members of killed troops slam Biden for the mismanagement of the situation.
On Tuesday, Jim McCollum, the father of one of the victims of the Kabul airport attack, Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, appeared on Fox & Friends. There, he stated that Biden “bumbled the ball” in every step that his administration took in connection to the situation. He said that this eventually led to his son’s demise at the hands of ISIS bombers.
Kathy McCollum, Rylee’s mother, stated that she blamed the “dementia-ridden” president for the death of her son.
Apart from the McCollum, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, another serviceman who died in the attack, spoke out about the incident on Tucker Carlson Tonight. He described the incident as “chaotic” and thinks the steps the administration took were “not really planned out.”
Political Leaders and Former Military Officials React
Meanwhile, political leaders and ex-military officials criticize Biden for how “shameful” the Afghanistan withdrawal turned out to be.
In a statement on Monday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) strongly criticized Biden for the “shameful” U.S. withdrawal. He described Biden’s decision to leave Americans behind in Afghanistan as a “morally indefensible decision. “Dishonor was the President’s choice. May history never forget this cowardice,” said Sasse.
Apart from Sasse, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who is also a female combat veteran, criticized the president for breaking his promise to the American people.
On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy organized a press conference at the Capitol, during which, several House veterans called for Biden to lay out his plan to rescue the stranded Americans in Afghanistan.
Rep. Chris Steward (R-Utah), who also served as an Air Force B-1 pilot, posted his sentiments on Twitter, saying that the president has the “fundamental duty” of saving those who had been left behind.
No. American. Left. Behind.
There's nothing political about that statement.
There's nothing controversial about that sentiment.
That's the fundamental duty of our Commander in Chief.@POTUS: Turn the planes around. There are Americans behind enemy lines who want to come home.
— Rep. Chris Stewart (@RepChrisStewart) August 31, 2021
Meanwhile, former Navy SEAL Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), who had also served in Afghanistan, mentioned during the GOP press conference that the war against the Taliban has not ended. He added that Biden’s administration should now acknowledge this and rescue the stranded Americans and allies in Afghanistan.
He also expressed his disbelief at how the Biden administration can even consider the idea that they could recognize the Taliban as a government, given that the group is on the U.S. terrorist watch list. He then listed down a litany of atrocities the Taliban has done, proving his point.
Republicans are not the only ones slamming Biden for his display of incompetence. Many from the Democratic party, primarily those who disagreed with the arbitrary Aug. 31 deadline of removing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, have also slammed the president.
According to Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), Americans will need answers in connection to the “cascading failures” that led to the Afghan exit after staying in the middle-eastern country for almost 20 years. She said, “our troops deserve nothing less than a complete and unvarnished account of the truth.”
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who is the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, accused the president and his administration of pushing through with a “flawed plan” that was created without the accurate assessment of what a hasty U.S. withdrawal would implicate.
Meanwhile, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) said that they must complete the mission of making sure every American gets evacuated from Afghanistan, “regardless of any arbitrary deadlines.”
At least 45 Congress members have called for Joe Biden’s removal from office since the U.S. exit from Afghanistan took a turn for the worse.