Yves here. Even though the annoyance with Biden undercuts this piece a bit, it still provides a useful high level tally of how has Biden has preserved many of Trump’s foreign policies. Indeed, this article if anything averts its eyes from misguided moves, like the increase in eyepoking China, documented almost daily in Links, calling Putin a killer (what did that accomplish?), and blowing vaccine diplomacy. I’m sure readers can add to this list.
By Barkley Rosser, Professor of Economics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Originally published at EconoSpeak
We are now looking at a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan. It looks like the Taliban will probably take control of Kabul and thus Afghanistan in the near future. Reports already show that where they control women cannot go to school and appear in public without a veil in public and much more. Many women there are unfortunately going to suffer greatly as a result of this. I am so very deeply sorry.
Yes, as an American who supported the original invasion of Afghanistan 20 years ago to overturn the Taliban and end support for al Qaeda who did the 9/11 attack two decades ago, I am also frustrated that we did not get the heck out once the Taliban were overthrown. But it remains unclear why we did stay then, especially given that the W. Bush admin turned to invading Iraq. Latest I have checked it seems that it was Rumsfeld who played the key role in deciding that that the US stay in Afghanistan, even as that admin basically gave up on getting bin Laden.
So this should not be a partisan issue in the US. Pres.Biden long ago, including as Obama’s VP, led opposition to increasing efforts in Afghanistan. He accurately understood that this was an ultimately bad situation to get more deeply involved in, And he then made it clear he thought we should be getting out.
This was the position of Biden’s predecessor, Trump, who also called for the US leaving Afghanistan. He steadily reduced the US troop presence, and negotiated a final full withdrawal. But various advisors held him back from effectuating the final withdrawal, leaving that to his successor. But what was left was not sustainable.
There are other areas where Biden seems to be following Trump policies. These include his reluctance to rejoin the JCPOA Iranian nuclear deal, which he promised to do, and he should have done. But now there is a new hardline president in Iran in reaction to just this, the failure of Biden to rejoin the deal. This is simply awful.
The list is long, and I frankly do not get why Biden has held back on so much of this. So, he has yet to remove almost any of the stupid garbage Trump tariffs. He has if anything made Trump’s prohibition of receiving refugees from abroad harder. And he is all in on Trump’s Afghanistan policy, which looks now to be a total humanitarian disaster. But the GOP is already falsely claiming the disaster will all be Biden’s fault, not Trump’s.