The “leader of the free world” has been rebuked by the U.K. parliament for triggering a crisis in Afghanistan.
Criticism for the Biden administration reverberated throughout parliament with The Times UK claiming, “politicians on all sides described the US withdrawal, which led to a rapid Taliban takeover, as ‘shameful.'”
English Prime Minister, Boris Johnson also felt the heat.
In response, as noted by The Times, Johnson – who had been on leave at the time – squared the blame firmly back on his American Democrat counterpart.
Johnson told MPs in the emergency debate that “it was an ‘illusion’ to suggest Britain could have assembled a coalition without the U.S.”
Johnson, according to The Times, confirmed that “others did not want to fight on.”
Adding the rather pointless sentiment, “the Taliban would be judged on their deeds rather than their words.”
Former Thatcher-esk hopeful, Theresa May, challenged Johnson’s defence.
According to The Guardian, May delivered a “scathing attack” on the foreign policy and intelligence failure demanding to know why the U.K. seemed to be following the U.S. blindly:
“Was our intelligence really so poor? Was our understanding of the Afghan government so weak? Was our knowledge on the ground so inadequate? Or did we just think we had to follow the United States and on a wing and a prayer it would be all right on the night?”
Direct criticism of Biden came from conservative foreign affairs committee chair, Tom Tugendhat, (also an army veteran), who said:
“…to see their commander-in-chief call into question the courage of men I fought with – to claim that they ran, it’s shameful. Those who have never fought for the colours they fly should be careful about criticising those who have.”
Tugendhat’s subtle rebuke appealed to the lessons of the moment:
“In these last few days what we’ve demonstrated, is that it’s not armies that win wars. Armies can get tactical and operational victories that can hold a line. They can make room for peace, room for [politicians and diplomats] people like us to talk, to compromise, to listen.”
The Afghan conflict vet asserted that the failures were caused by a lack of bureaucratic will and complacency.
“This is a harsh lesson for all of us,” he said, “and if we’re not careful it could be a very, very difficult lesson for our allies.”
Citing the Cold War and close togetherness of the West during those decades, Tugendhat spoke of how patience, clear goals, determination, and teamwork wins.
“Let’s stop talking about forever wars, let’s recognise that forever peace is bought not cheaply but hard, through determination and the will to endure.”
He said, “The tragedy of Afghanistan is that we’re swapping patient achievement for a second fire, and a second war.”
For Tugendhat, the only positive aspect of the Afghanistan crisis is in how the events of the past week shine a spotlight on veteran’s affairs, particularly mental health.
Joe Biden’s atrocious, inhumane, mishandling of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan is read by many to be an abandonment of America’s allies.
What is unquestionable is the outcome.
Islamists, the Chinese Communist Party, Iran, and those who view the West as the enemy are emboldened by both a strategic and propaganda win.
Blame for this sits squarely on the shoulders of the bureaucratic caste for losing a courageous defence and its hard-won gains.
Like the Vietnam War, it is suits, not boots, who should shoulder the burden of responsibility for losing ground.
Instead of choosing to hold the line, they chose to go on holiday instead.