Will the GOP Win by Leaving a Safety Net in Afghanistan?

President Biden is trying to look like the hero by pulling all of our troops out of Afghanistan. The problem is…can Afghanistan hold its own without U.S. military support?

We need a safety net – and the GOP is pushing this to ensure that we maintain positive global relations. Considering that Biden has proven time and again that global relations aren’t his forte, it’s critical that the GOP get loud about the issue.

Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican out of Oklahoma is requesting that 1,000 troops stay behind in Afghanistan. By leaving them there until early 2022, we can avoid a chaotic transition.

As the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee explains, “t would maintain a quick counterterrorism force as the political and security environment evolves; enable more-effective intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.” That’s not all, though. It would also allow time to process visas for the Afghans and ensure that the U.S. Embassy is properly protected.

We have to be cautious. Although Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has testified in front of the committee to express confidence, it’s critical that we provide sufficient support to the region.

Austin explains that Biden has been clear: the mission in Afghanistan has been accomplished. Has it, though? Austin says that counterterrorism efforts, in the future, will focus on elements that can conduct attacks against our homeland. He goes on to say that “We are doing a lot of things over the horizon now.”

Essentially, Austin is saying that there’s no need to have boots on the ground in Afghanistan. That may or may not be the case. Considering that Biden hasn’t executed other global relations effectively, it is better to err on the side of caution. Allowing 1,000 troops to stay behind can ensure that Afghanistan is better protected.

The problem is that Biden made a promise – and he wants to carry through on it so that he can see a rise in the polls. He needs a win, even if it means leaving the U.S. and Afghanistan vulnerable. Biden announced in May that all U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by September 11. It can happen, but should it?

U.S. Central Command has already done about 50 percent of the work. While specific numbers haven’t been released, there were approximately 2500 troops still present in the spring.

Senator Inhofe has been particularly critical about the withdrawal plan. He acknowledged that no one wants to see U.S. troops in Afghanistan forever. The problem is that if we’re too quick to withdraw, things go wrong. We could be looking at losing U.S. security interests and endangering allies.

There’s no rush. Why should we rush to pull everyone out in less than three months when we can taper off and take nine to twelve months? Wouldn’t it be better to go slower if it meant that we could make sure everyone and everything is protected?

Austin is working on the behest of President Biden. And President Biden isn’t a military man. He isn’t focused on what’s best for the country. Instead, he’s focused on what will make him look the best in the polls. Is that really how we want to run our country? Based on what will make the president look good?

Inhofe makes a good case for delaying the troops. And if the GOP can talk some sense into both Biden and Austin, we may have a better withdrawal strategy in place.

By leaving troops in place for a while longer, it will also make it easier to assess the security situation and whether the Taliban will meet its commitments.

Austin has identified that a contingent of U.S. military troops will remain in Afghanistan to help secure the diplomatic facilities. However, he has not disclosed the size of the force. It’s estimated that it is considerably smaller than the 1,000 that Inhofe is pushing for.

Let’s take it slow and steady. Withdrawing everyone isn’t a good withdrawal plan, and the GOP needs a win.

editor

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