The Economist & The Financial Times agree on the ill fated Biden Afghanistan withdrawal. Political Observer comments

What might History teach about the failed interventions of the British and the Soviet Union and their wars in Afghanistan? Not to speak of America’s support for the Mujahideen and  Osama bin Laden?  

The two most conservative/reactionary Western newspapers, are taking the role of an utterly failed foreign policy technocracy, that helped to produce the failed ‘War On Terror’. The human costs of this war are not worthy of mention in these two newspaper. Though never at a loss for politically exploitable moralizing.   

Headline: At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror

Sub-headline: A new report calculates the number of people who fled because of wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.


The War in  Afghanistan began on 2001, how much longer for the occupier to win ‘hearts and minds’ ? The Neo-Cons, champions of The American Empire, are well represented in the Biden Coterie: Victoria Nuland and R2P Zealot Samantha Power. So a possible ‘reappraisal’ of the withdrawal is more than possible, based in Biden’s ‘pragmatism’.   


April 17 , 2021 :

Headline: Joe Biden is wrong to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan

Sub-headline: But America can still try to minimise the damage

If Mr Biden insists on pulling out American troops, he should at least take steps to reduce the likelihood of total disaster. The Soviet-backed state did not collapse immediately when Russian soldiers withdrew; it fell when the money ran out. So America should promise to subsidise Kabul for longer. The Taliban’s leaders now have plush offices in Qatar and travel freely internationally. They are, at least nominally, negotiating with Kabul. They must be made to realise that if they take over by force, they will be international pariahs once again, and the money will stop. Even in Taliban-held districts teachers and doctors are paid by foreign donors. Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s president, must also now realise that more American troops are not coming to his rescue, and try seriously to negotiate—or cede his position to someone who will.

The omens are not good. The Taliban believe they have defeated America; they do not seem inclined towards concessions. Even if they negotiate rather than shoot their way back into government, the Afghan constitution of 2004, with its legal protections for women and other freedoms, is unlikely to last. The Taliban show little sign of giving up their links with al-Qaeda. Mr Biden may be pulling troops out of the country now. A future president may have to send them back in.


April 18, 2021:

Headline: Biden’s risky Afghanistan withdrawal

Sub-headline: The Taliban gets something for nothing in its war on Kabul

The choice is understandable. As the cliché goes, there are no good options in any of these situations. But America should be aware of what could come undone. Millions of Afghan girls now going to school who would be sent back home under the Taliban. Women in the urban work force would also be in jeopardy. It is easy to dismiss America’s history in Afghanistan as a tragic waste. But these are powerful counterpoints.

Following Biden’s announcement, America’s Nato allies, which account for another 7,000 troops, said they would also pull out. This will leave Kabul even more starkly exposed. Given the Taliban’s territorial gains in the last two years, Biden’s advisers were concerned that the Pentagon would press for another surge.

When the choice boils down to all or nothing, the least bad is probably the latter. But there is a third option — to retain America’s modest presence on the ground and in the air. Last year ten US troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan. Each loss is tragic. But the result of America’s departure risks being far more tragic for Afghanistan and the world.


The reader confronts the expertise of both the Economist and the Financial Times , but the reader need only look to Iraq,  to what ‘withdrawal’ actually means. Here is information on the size of America’s Embassy in Bagdad, Iraq, that is in reality the fortress of an occupier:

That was the process that has led, now, to this—the construction of an extravagant new fortress into which a thousand American officials and their many camp followers are fleeing. The compound, which will be completed by late fall, is the largest and most expensive embassy in the world, a walled expanse the size of Vatican City, containing 21 reinforced buildings on a 104-acre site along the Tigris River, enclosed within an extension of the Green Zone which stretches toward the airport road. The new embassy cost $600 million to build, and is expected to cost another $1.2 billion a year to run—a high price even by the profligate standards of the war in Iraq. The design is the work of an architectural firm in Kansas City named Berger Devine Yaeger, which angered the State Department last May by posting its plans and drawings on the Internet, and then responding to criticism with the suggestion that Google Earth offers better views. Google Earth offers precise distance measurements and geographic coordinates too.

Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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