It was a very moving statement from the US President.
He showed a known sympathy for him, but he hadn’t shown himself for the past ten days when he advocated the chaotic withdrawal.
Thinking about the killing of American soldiersand, speaking directly to an American audience, he drew on his own experiences – a son who served on combat missions and later died of brain cancer and a daughter who was killed in a car accident when he was an infant with his first wife.
“We have some sense of feeling…,” he said, adding that the loss is like “plunging into a black hole with no exit.”
But in addition to sympathy, he also tried to show strength, strength and endurance.
We will not forgive and we will not forget. We will chase you and make you payHe said about ISIS Khorasan terrorists.
He vowed to continue the evacuation mission.
“We must complete this mission and we will do it. The terrorists will not deter us. We will continue to evacuate,” he added.
As the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, he is now entrusted with two opposing missions: to continue the evacuation, to eject the troops, but also to hunt down the terrorists.
This may require shoes on the floor. It would certainly require intelligence that evaporated with the US withdrawal and the abandonment and subsequent collapse of Afghan forces.
Taliban cooperation will be critical, and interestingly enough, the generals admitted that they share some information with Taliban leaders. What a wonderful development.
Remember that the Taliban and ISIS are enemies. But will the Taliban tolerate continued US operations? Will the American public tolerate that?
There were thorny moments in his press conference. Question: He clashed with a Fox News reporter who put it right and clear right away – will he accept any responsibility for what happened?
He said the responsibility lay with him – “the responsibility stops with me” – but then repeated his accusation that the chaos was dismantling a bad and binding deal he had inherited between his predecessor Donald Trump and the Taliban in which the Americans vowed to withdraw if attacks on them stopped.
President Biden insisted that if he had shredded the Trump-Taliban deal and left any troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban would have attacked and America would fall back again.
Yet the cost of withdrawing – and too quickly – has been chaos, betrayal, abandonment, and death within Afghanistan.
Outside the country, there are challenges to absorbing this large number of refugees. The numbers can be controlled, but we have seen how the Syrian refugee crisis has polarized politics across Europe.
There is an overall quandary that President Biden will not face. His central justification for the withdrawal – that Afghanistan is no longer a home for terrorists – has proven tragically wrong.
The country has been handed back to the Taliban, a group that remains close to al-Qaeda and cannot control their local enemy, ISIS-K.
Currently, the terrorist threat does not pose as dangers outside Afghanistan as al-Qaeda did 20 years ago.
But as the former US Secretary of Defense and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta said, “We have to go back, to eliminate ISIS.
“And maybe we have to go back to take back the base… We can leave the battlefield, but we can’t leave the war on terror.”