Biden and Afghanistan

Perhaps belatedly understanding the magnitude of his error in failing to ensure the safe exodus of people who have aided the United States before he drew down our armed forces in Afghanistan, Biden has dispatched enough troops to secure the Kabul airport for a limited length of time. This should permit more people who are targeted for death or brutal persecution by the Taliban to find asylum in the United States or elsewhere. In his speech yesterday, Biden said that he was persuaded not to evacuate these people before drawing down troops in part because the Afghan leadership warned that it would be bad for morale and in part because some people were reluctant to leave. Neither of these reasons is in the least convincing. I think Biden was gripped by an idée fixe, an overwhelming impulse to end the war and bring our troops home that crowded other thoughts out of his mind. I think of him as a good, and in many respects capable, man who has often exhibited flawed judgment.