Afghanistan: President Biden says there are no parallels with Vietnam
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Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban, as the group managed to capture the country’s capital to secure power for the first time in 20 years. A mass exodus has followed, with Afghan women and children hoping to leave the country before attempts to reintroduce Sharia law. The world’s eyes have now turned to Joe Biden, who is responsible alongside his allies for resettling refugees and recovering from the most humiliating defeat of his first term so far.
The President appears to have started losing his grip on what has otherwise proven a loyal voter base.
Over the last week, despite having taken steps to pass a monster $1.1 trillion Democrat budget, his polls have started to crack.
Americans are quickly losing confidence in his Covid strategy.
Since his inauguration, his pandemic-based ratings have sat at 60 percent or more.
In mid-July, 60.3 percent of people approved of his response.
But this has since collapsed by more than five points, down to 55 percent on August 13.
Disapproval has grown in tandem, from 31.6 percent to 37.6 percent in the same period.
Unfortunately for Mr Biden, his overall approval rating has dipped as well.
He currently sports a 50 percent approval rate, the lowest of his career so far.
The overall drop is relatively limited, around two percent, but the failings of the US policy on Afghanistan could see him drop below 50 percent for the first time.
Critics are already piling blame for the crisis at his feet, with prominent pundits taking him to task on his actions.
While it isn’t clear what precise effect Afghanistan will have on Mr Biden’s approval, experts are united; this could prove humiliating for him.
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Mr Biden first decided to pull troops from Afghanistan in April.
He is now sending 6,000 troops to help with evacuations, little more than a month after declaring it was “highly unlikely” the Taliban would overrun and own “the whole country”.
Writing in The Conversation, William Maley, Emeritus Professor of Diplomacy at the Australian National University, said history would remember the fiasco as “his own Bay of Pigs moment”.
As historians looked back at the “shambolic” withdrawal, he added, it would also mark “America’s decline in the world”.
Other critics have concurred, among them John Allen, former commander of US forces in Afghanistan.
Writing in Defense One, a national security publication, he said history would hold Mr Biden and his administration responsible “if the worst comes to pass”.
But he conceded there may “still be time for Biden to rescue both Afghan lives and American interests”.
He urged the President to issue a public redline, prepare to re-deploy armed units and perform round the clock extractions of eligible Afghans.
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