Jonathan Rauch argues that the decision to withdraw was hard but necessary.
I find this difficult to read, given your criticism of Biden leaving Afghanistan not too long ago. There are many people - including myself - who made the same points about why Biden made the right move, including that the war was based on a flawed strategy of remaking Afghanistan, like the failed policy in Vietnam. Also, it wasn't that the Taliban didn't just see much use in targeting American troops the last few years. They signed an Agreement with Trump not to, with was a betrayal of the Afghan government that the US was supposed to be supporting and allowed the Taliban to unilaterally focus on over-running the country.
The anger at how the actual last months occurred - which you certainly were part of - obscured where the blame should go - on those who got us into this and failed the American people by a no-win strategy. Now, those people are being left off the hook.
Missing from every discussion on Afghanistan war and including yours, these conflicts ought not to be a pregrogative of up to presidents. The constitution stipulates that only Congress can declare war. The cowardly congresses of the last 20 plus years who stood around with their hands in their pockets staring at the ground while they should have been challenging the scope of the war powers act are to blame.
There's a disconnect between your proposition and your evidence. Your proposition is that the withdrawal was necessary, but your evidence leads you to conclude that the 𝑟𝑒𝑚𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑠 "lost the argument". You don't actually bring support for the idea that remaining was untenable, only that nobody was willing to level with the public about the possible costs. Nothing stopped Biden from doing just that. And even though he was unwilling to level with the public about remaining, what's the logic that says executing a bad policy is better than executing a better one but obfuscating its costs? Neither one of those is good, but how can you say definitively which is worse.
Joined this substack because of this article! Yes - absolutely agree. I did not vote for Biden but now I'm ridin' with him because he finally had the guts to take us out of at least ONE of our endless occupations. Obama and Trump wanted to - but knew the repercussions would be costly - both republicans and democrats (mainstream) are pro-war. As well as the media (mainstream). Of course it was going to get bad reviews all around. No matter how Biden did it.
I'd still like to know why they didn't heed Biden's warning months before he took out the troops.
But twenty more years would NOT have made the Afghan military any more ready to protect their puppet president...
I disagree with so much of this but quite frankly I don’t want to waste my time rebutting.