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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Joe Biden is unfit to be commander-in-chief

Photo by Creative Commons

Opinion columnist Sam Somogye considers the Aug. 31 withdrawal from Afghanistan by the United States and discusses the impact on foreign policy.

If one had to apply to be president of the United States, an ideal resume would look something like this: a law professor, over three decades in the United States Senate, four years as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, eight years as the chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and eight years as vice president. 

Surely, with that kind of record, they must be capable of leading this great nation. 

Unfortunately, that’s President Joe Biden’s resume, and his handling of our withdrawal from Afghanistan has shown that a good resume doesn’t always mean you’re right for the job. 

This sentiment was made evident by the botched withdrawal plan from Afghanistan, which is the worst display of American foreign policy in recent memory.

To start, Biden announced to the entire world he would be expanding the previously set May 1 deadline and have all American troops out of the country by Aug. 31. By doing so, he basically told the Taliban, the terrorist organization the U.S. spent the past 20 years fighting, “Hey! Just so y’all know, this is when we’ll be heading out.” Naturally, as soon as the murderous organization heard this, they started making moves to overtake the country. 

To many people’s surprise, the Taliban had taken over Afghanistan two weeks before the withdrawal deadline. This progression should not have been a shock at all. The Biden Administration quite literally told the Taliban that not only were American troops leaving, but they were leaving quickly. It only makes sense the terrorist group would start making strides to regain control. Especially considering the many warnings the Biden Administration received from the intelligence community. Despite these warnings, the White House chose not only to continue with the withdrawal, but President Biden even called the president of Afghanistan and asked him to downplay how bad things were becoming. 

Once the Taliban started taking control over Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, the real chaos began. In the thousands, people raced to the airports, many with nothing but their passports and whatever they could carry on their backs. 

Horrifying images would soon circulate around the globe, ranging from babies being passed through crowds to people falling off of the sides of planes to their deaths. Tragically, for many, plunging to their death in an attempt to flee the country was better than living under Taliban rule.   

Simultaneously, troubling statistics were also brought to light. Most notably, the arsenal we handed over to the Taliban. Some of the highlights include 22,174 Humvees, 64,363 machine guns and 358,530 assault rifles. On top of that, over 160 military grade helicopters and planes were left lying around. The U.S. quite literally left the Taliban with a new arsenal and an air force. 

The worst part of this whole debacle was the awful communication coming from the White House. Biden was not at the White House when the chaos ensued. Instead, he was at Camp David. His press secretary was also taking a brief hiatus while this conflict unfolded. Everyone, even the president and his cabinet members, deserve a few days off, but when there’s an international tragedy unfolding, it’s time to cut the vacation short and get back to work. 
There were multiple times when the president did not answer reporters’ questions after press conferences. When the country needed answers from him most, he simply walked away — a truly shameful display from the man who is supposed to be our leader. 

It has now been almost a month since the overthrow of the Afghanistan government began. Women’s rights are being ripped away and terrorists on the FBI’s most wanted list have been put into cabinet positions under the new government.  
All this makes me wonder, what was the point of the last 20 years? The Biden Administration’s failed strategy has resulted in the loss of trillions of dollars, American troops’ lives and all the progress we made to free Afghanistan of the Taliban. 

All weapons and aircrafts should have been destroyed before departure, our Afghan allies should have been evacuated before our troops started to leave and the Taliban should have never been put into the position they are currently in. 

Americans are still stuck in Afghanistan, and 13 families of U.S. troops are grieving the loss of their loved ones who died trying to get them out. 
If this administration was not rotten to the core, it would be appropriate for President Biden to resign. Unfortunately, the line of succession for the presidency would mean Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are up next, and they are no better. 

President Biden will not be remembered for his handling of COVID-19 or signing an infrastructure package into law. No, instead people will look back at his presidency as an utter failure because of his complete incompetence and lack of forethought relating to this horrific withdrawal plan. 
Sam Somogye is a political science senior and columnist for The Battalion.

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